Catch up on what our readers are talking about this week: housing, medical marijuana rules, how a community’s development plan gets changed and farmers market fraud.

Pat McKemy on “Section 8, Zero Tolerance and One Family Pushed to the Brink“:

Cheryl Canson is fortunate enough to have been allowed to live in St. Vincent de Paul Village and lead a life, although difficult. As far as the rule is concerned I would say that it should not be amended or removed altogether, leave it as it is.

Joel Weisberger on “Mayor: Marijuana Policy Delayed, Public Vote Possible“:

Does CVS pay an extra tax for the sales of oxycontin? I don’t see how, if we are going to say marijuana is medicine, we should treat it any different. Also, none of this really matters as long as it stays federally illegal. Laura Duffy has made it pretty clear where she stands. So for the city to sit there and tax it, without being able to protect it from the feds, seems a little wrong. How are those taxes actually representing the taxpayers? Look at Mother Earth in El Cajon. They started in Fallbrook, and got chased out, then they paid all sorts of money and moved to El Cajon (70 miles away from their patient base) in order to utilize one of the few locations in the county deemed appropriate for medical marijuana. Despite the fact that Mother Earth was complying with the county, they still got shut down by the feds. So where did following the rules help at all? Other than the fact that the county received a lot of money. Until things change federally, I think it is pointless for anyone in the medical marijuana industry to try and comply with any local regulations. Let alone pay taxes.

Richard Gorin on “Updating a City, Block by Block“:

Unless one is talking about a radically different structure, the policy of revisiting community plans every five years makes no sense. We’ve spent more time than that in trying to do a single update of the Uptown community plan, and starting over every five years would mean that we never finish.

These plans should give property owners some idea of what they can and cannot expect to do with their property. They should give residents an idea of the direction in which their community is evolving. As we move on and die off, subsequent generations of owners and residents need their turn to manage the vision. If we want to regularize the process, I’d suggest that when a plan turns 20, it’s time to start developing the next one, with the goal of completing the new plan in five years.

What could be done on a quinquennial basis is for the planning department to present a report card to the City Council on how well the existing plan is working for each community. It would then be up to the council to initiate an unscheduled revision if they feel one is needed.

Sharon Gehl on “Updating a City, Block by Block“:

As Joe Lacava pointed out, the current system of doing community plan updates doesn’t make it easy for people to see their community as part of the city as a whole, because people aren’t given the information they need.

That’s what I found when I attended the workshops and meetings for the Uptown community plan update. The city staff went into a lot of detail in studying the community, asking questions, and presenting population projections; but little or nothing was said about the objectives of the new city general plan, let alone how Uptown would fit into it.

This is something that can be changed. From now on, the city can make a point of explaining their “city of villages” approach when they begin a plan update, and throughout the process. They can go into detail showing how it would play out in each community, and why the objectives are important.

And they can start with Uptown.

Michael Russell on “When Fraud Hits the Farmers Market“:

Growing a true organic crop costs as much as twice others, because without pesticides you lose something to pests, and without herbicides you must labor to clear weeds. But you should get some crop increase from better soils and you can still use natural fertilizers like animal dung and composed plant matter. Still, the cost of growing an organic apple is less than a dime. The real costs are transportation and labor.

Comments have been lightly edited for typos, spelling and style.

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Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at or 619.550.5669.

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Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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