MV council to discuss RV ban, adopt amended cannabis ordinance

Special to the Town Crier
Mountain View residents protesting cannabis sales in the city hold signs that read “Protect Our Kids” at the May 23 city council meeting. Council members revised a previously approved cannabis ordinance to ban any retail storefronts. The amended law does allow up to three delivery services.

Two issues that have prompted long lines of speakers at Mountain View City Council meetings are scheduled for the council’s meeting agenda Tuesday (June 11).

Members are set to discuss a draft ordinance that would ban oversized vehicle parking, legislation targeting the proliferation of RVs parked throughout the city that are being used as living spaces.

Despite numerous outreach efforts to help vehicle dwellers and provide more affordable housing, opponents have accused city leaders of trying to push poor people out of town through such an ordinance. City officials countered that health, safety and sanitation issues are among the reasons for the move.

The issue has highlighted a class identity struggle in the city as opponents claim Mountain View is becoming more gentrified and losing its cultural and socioeconomic diversity. The American Civil Liberties Union contends that the city’s RV ban is unconstitutional.

A second controversial issue drawing much public discussion concerns the city council’s about-face on retail cannabis sales.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the council has scheduled a second reading and adoption of a revamped ordinance that dispenses with any retail sales in favor of allowing up to three delivery services. The council approved the new ordinance May 23.

The council backed away from its initial ordinance, approved last October, which approved two retail stores and two delivery outlets. Members did so after hearing from dozens of speakers at meetings in March and May, many of them parents who worried about the influence such retail stores would have on their impressionable children.

Following adoption, the law takes effect after 30 days.

In other news, council members adopted major goals for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2121 fiscal years at their May 21 meeting. The goals and projects center on themes of:

• Protecting “vulnerable” populations and encouraging “socioeconomic and cultural diversity.”

• Improving the quantity, diversity and affordability of housing by providing opportunities for subsidized, middle-income and ownership housing.

• Developing and implementing “comprehensive and innovative” transportation strategies to achieve mobility, connectivity and safety for people of all ages.

• Providing environmental sustainability and quality of life.

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