Antioch Council says no to marijuana cultivation, approves Heidorn Village housing development

By Nick Goodrich

During its first meeting of the new year, on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, the Antioch City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes within city limits, and approved a new development project on the City’s southeast side.

Medical Marijuana

When the issue of cultivation was discussed late last year, council members were led to believe that language in AB 243 and 266, the laws signed by Governor Brown, last year, would prevent cities from taking a stance on medical marijuana cultivation if they had not passed any laws on it by this March. Under that belief, the Council had ordered staff to prepare an ordinance to be passed before the March 1st deadline.

Assembly Member Jim Wood, who introduced AB 243 to the State Assembly, has since declared that language a mistake, and has moved to change it, saying local governments would remain the decision-maker on cultivation in their cities. But with an ordinance already drawn up and preparations made, the Council voted unanimously on Tuesday for the ordinance, banning marijuana cultivation within Antioch.

Code Enforcement will take the lead on enforcing the ordinance, with the Antioch Police Department to step in and assist when needed.

Council Member Tony Tiscareno wondered whether the removal of the March deadline would open the city to potential litigation on the matter, and was assured by the City Attorney that Antioch has express authorization to go ahead with the ordinance. Tiscareno also made sure that an ordinance now would not lock Antioch into it’s decision later, and that the city could readdress the issue later, if needed.

During the public hearing for the ordinance, Jeffrey Keiffer, an Antioch resident, spoke against the ordinance. Keiffer, who has been living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other serious medical conditions for more than 20 years, grows marijuana in his home to treat his ailments. He stated that many veterans in the community do the same.

“You don’t go after people who brew beer in their cellar,” he said. “I think it should be up to the voters.”

While no one stepped forward to speak out in support of the ordinance on Tuesday, several residents and Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando pushed for the ordinance last year. Many Antioch residents are concerned that legalized cultivation could lead to more burglaries, and were concerned at the thought of a grow operation next door. Cantando told the Council that legalized cultivation would strain the police force even more, during a rebuilding period that is not yet finished.

Heidorn Village site.

Heidorn Village site.

New Home Project

The Council also held a public hearing on the Heidorn Village Subdivision, a development project along Heidorn Ranch Road and Prewett Ranch Drive. The proposed project would subdivide more than 20.3 acres into 117 single family lots, and would include a park, two acres of open space, and a connection to the Mokelumne Trail in the north.

According to the staff report, previous development plans for the land never came to fruition, including one for 83 single-family homes approved in 1990, and another which was allocated 115 homes by the Council in 2008. The new project required a new approval by the Council to move forward.

Lot sizes will range from 4,000 to 8,086 square feet with an average of lot size of 4,564 square feet and he homes will be both single- and two-story ranging in size from 1,654 to 2,607 square feet.

The development agreement also includes a new, annual police assessment for each home and a homeowners association to maintain the open space and enforce parking rules.

Doug Krah, of Mission Peak Homes, the project applicant and third developer for the site, thanked the Council and city staff for the work they put in to make sure the project was a “viable and exciting option.”

“I think this is a good project,” said Mayor Wade Harper.

He stated that the developers had to come in to meet with the City Council on multiple occasions and were able to work out all the details to their and the city’s satisfaction.

The Council then approved the project by a unanimous 5-0 vote.

To read the details of the agenda item (#3) on the new development, click here. Then click on Staff Report.

The next Antioch City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall on West Second Street in downtown. Council meetings can also be viewed live on Comcast local Channel 24 or via live stream on the City’s website at www.ci.antioch.ca.us.

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Heidorn Village site map


4 Comments to “Antioch Council says no to marijuana cultivation, approves Heidorn Village housing development”

  1. Arne says:

    The Council made the right decision with its ban on cultivation of marijuana since AB 243 has not become law and was only introduced in the Assembly.

  2. SMH says:

    Lmao, so recreating a black market is better for the town of Antioch.

  3. Gabe sr. says:

    This town has become such a disgusting s***hole…..

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