Smoking lounges ousted, tattoo parlors limited

VISTA — After it was proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month in the city, council voted to keep Vista family friendly April 14 by prohibiting smoking lounges and limiting the density and location of tattoo parlors.
Community Development Director John Conley asked for an amendment that would completely do away with smoking lounges in the city. Smoking lounges are defined to include cigar bars and hookah bars.
The amendment also required tattoo parlors to have a minimum distance of 500 feet from parks, schools or child care facilities, as well as 1,000 feet from other parlors. Also proposed was a cap of one parlor per 40,000 residents of Vista. The current population would allow two parlors to service the 96,000 residents of Vista. The vote to approve the amendment was unanimous.
Although council voted against having smoking lounges, resident Paul Schumann addressed the council to propose a medical marijuana facility in the city that would not be merely a dispensary. He suggested having a holistic healing clinic with chiropractors, nutritionists, acupuncturists and eventually psychotherapy. He cited the current push in California and the nation for legalization of marijuana, along with 13 other states legalizing it for medical use. His primary concern was about the widespread use of prescription drugs often creating and/or exacerbating side effects, which can lead to overmedication. Schumann also proposed an in-house debit card system that would automatically tax all revenue in order to help bring money to the state.
Council also unanimously approved a 21-unit condominium complex at 321 Iron Drive, a cul-de-sac south of Copper Drive and West of Melrose Drive. The property was originally developed for single-family homes, but was damaged in a fire and demolished in 1999. In 2003 the new subdivision was proposed, with 21 units in six separate building and plenty of parking, garages and private open space per unit.
The Planning Commission found no adverse environmental impacts, and found it was consistent with applicable development standards and compatible with the surrounding development of high quality design and materials.


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