Monday, May 4, 2009

Bull Dog LA has neighbor peoblems

A new marijuana dispensary, Bull Dog Café Collective, has opened half a block from John C. Fremont Public Library, infuriating some area residents. Its proximity to a library and surrounding residential neighborhood is a lethal mix, according to Cindy Chvatal, president of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association.

The site, at 6105 Melrose Ave., is also operating illegally. “They’ve apparently jumped the gun,” and opened without an interim control ordinance exemption, said Doug Mensman, planning deputy for Councilman Tom LaBonge.

Bulldog Café owner Anthony Folsom applied for the hardship exemption with the city clerk’s office in February. But, apparently he has not followed up on the matter since opening the store in March, after moving from a Cahuenga location. “Either they don’t know or don’t care that they have to get permission via a vote of the City Council to grant the hardship,” Mensman said.

Folsom was not available for comment. Store manager Mathew, (he refused to give his last name), disputed the charge. The store has 24-hour security, is licensed, and because it has operated since 2006 is not restricted by the ICO, he said.
“We have a right to be here. We’re helping people out, who have AIDS, are in chronic pain.”

Meanwhile, Councilmember Tom LaBonge. has directed the city Dept. of Building and Safety to investigate the operation.“They have ordered the business to discontinue operation by May 17,” LaBonge noted.

Several medical marijuana outlets have surfaced near both Fairfax and Melrose avenue schools prompting Mid City West Community Council Public Safety Committee to urge city officials to deny 45 hardship exemption applications for dispensaries in Council Districts Four and Five.

Committee members claim the dispensaries have opened illegally and seek exemptions to bypass oversight. Some sites operate less than 1,000 feet from Fairfax High School and 1,000 feet from Melrose Avenue Elementary School.

About 160 dispensaries applied lawfully before the ICO moratorium went into effect in September 2007.

The ICO is in effect until Sept. 14, 2009, by which time the Council is expected

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