Help Shape the Content of the County’s Social Equity Cannabis Program: Participate in the March 18 th Casa de Oro Alliance General Assembly Meeting

Have you heard?

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted in January, 2021 to legalize the cultivation, sale and distribution of cannabis in the county and has directed the county staff to develop a “Social Equity Cannabis Program” to develop regulation ordinances, establish a permitting system, address enforcement concerns, and establish social equity objectives.

San Diego County's Socially Equitable Cannabis Program

The county staff is currently getting input from the community to help the county explore and develop the components of the cannabis program based on stakeholder input.

On Thursday, March 18, 2021 from 6:00-7:30pm, the Casa de Oro Alliance Government Affairs Committee is facilitating a stakeholder meeting with the county staff. We have invited representatives of several Spring Valley and East County organizations to participate on a zoom call that will be live-streamed on Facebook and the Alliance’s website so that anyone can watch, listen, and offer comments.

We hope you will watch the live-stream and give your input as to what you think needs to be included in the county’s plan.

–Lisa Stewart, Co-chair Government Affairs Committee, Casa de Oro Alliance

FAQs:

1)  WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ASSEMBLY MEETING ZOOM?

The County of San Diego is developing a Socially Equitable Cannabis Program and is holding stakeholder meetings to get input.  

March The 18th Casa de Oro General Assembly meeting is one of the many stakeholder meetings being held to provide input to the County of San Diego as they develop the components of a county-wide Social Equity Cannabis Program.

2)  WHAT IS THE COUNTY’S SOCIAL EQUITY CANNABIS PROGRAM?

Here is the link to the county’s website:
https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/pds/Cannabis.html

3)  WHY IS THIS MEETING IMPORTANT?

While the Casa de Oro Alliance is setting up and facilitating the March 18 th stakeholder meeting, we want the County staff to get input from more than just the Casa de Oro Alliance and community leaders. We think it’s important for everyone to give their input because this will have an impact across the entire county of San Diego.

We hope you will participate by: 1) submitting your input prior to the meeting via the Casa de Oro Alliance website, 2) attend the live-streamed meeting and add your comments to the chat, and 3) send your input to the county’s project lead, Mr. Donald Chase (Donald.Chase@sdcounty.ca.gov)

The zoom meeting will be recorded so that you can view it later if you cannot watch it live.

4)  WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE COUNTY’S CANNABIS PROGRAM?

The county’s cannabis program has four goals:  

1) develop zoning ordinances that would allow for cannabis retail, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing, and microbusiness. 

2) develop a new cannabis permitting system that creates county
operating permits for retail, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and testing or a county operating permit for a microbusiness license, allows for the sale of ingestible cannabis products, and allows for onsite consumption of cannabis products at specific facilities and at permitted events. 

3) addresses enforcement issues

and 

4) contains a social equity component.

5)  HOW DO I VIEW THE MEETING?

On Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 6pm, watch the meeting on the Casa de Oro Alliance Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CasadeOroAlliance) or on the Casa de Oro Alliance website (www.casadeoro.org). 

You’ll be able to post your comments.

6) HOW CAN I GIVE MY INPUT TO THE COUNTY?

The project lead is Mr. Donald Chase (Donald.chase@sdcounty.ca.gov). Send him your suggestions, recommendations, and links to articles you think would be helpful for the county to refer to when developing their cannabis program.

Casa de Oro Specific Plan Project Moving Forward

County Needs More Community Feedback

County planners and consults are continuing to develop a Specific Plan for Casa de Oro  but now need input from area businesses, landowners, and community members.

A county webpage dedicated to the CDO Specific Plan project was established to allow community review of the project deliverables at CDO Revitalization Project Plan. The site includes a conceptual plan developed by the Casa de Oro Alliance to identify issues and outlined a vision for community revitalization.

The project is divided into two phases so far. The first phase, included a professional study to further identify land use issues and challenges facing Casa de Oro. This study was largely used y the County to justify and request the SANDAG grant of $500,000 now funding the larger project itself. 

The second phase included detailed analysis of the current Casa de Oro corridor building stock, infrastructure, lot sizes, and other land use components. Phase One also includes a financial analysis of potential development costs, an analysis of existing traffic and parking, as well as community feedback collected at the Casa de Oro Fall Festival  last year and during a community workshop earlier this year.

Members of the Casa de Oro Alliance are concerned the visibility of the project is limited within the community. In addition, business owners and land owners need to become more aware of the project and its possible implications for Casa de Oro. As a result, county staff assured the CDO Alliance to soon return with a more detailed plan for Phase Three of the project, to include additional community input. 

The Casa de Oro Alliance, government affairs committee will be organizing and facilitating more meetings with area community groups to make them more aware of the project and solicit more community feedback as the plan is developed and completed.

Watch for invitations to virtual events in the coming future to provide your opinions on how Casa de Oro is developed into the decades ahead. If you would like to become more involved in the development of a specific plan for Casa de Oro, please join our government affairs committee by contacting the Casa de Oro Alliance at casadeoroalliance@gmail.com.

Casa de Oro Alliance Stages Virtual Community Meeting

Welcome to July in Casa de Oro

Happy Belated 4th of July!

As we mark our democratic founding and independence as a country, the Casa de Oro Alliance invites you to celebrate and appreciate the rich independence we enjoy each and every day. Read below for a special invitation.

The Casa de Oro Alliance (CDOA) appreciates our independence to pursue our goals and vision to revitalize our community – we are working diligently to restore the health and safety of Casa de Oro. 

Did you notice?

  • Sanitation is improving! With support from EDCO, Casa de Oro now has multiple large trash containers available to pedestrians.

  • The weeds are gone! Our beautification committee dawned their masks, pulled the weeds and picked up litter along Campo Road.

  • An illegal dispensary was shut down! Because of fast action by the Department of Public Works (and specifically Joe Valencia) in cooperation with the Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Department, the infamous ‘tennis court dispensary’ was surrounded and closed.

  • We have new transportation stations! Thanks to MTS for replacing the old, unsafe, and unsightly bus benches, and replacing them with 12 brand new fixtures along Campo Road. Plus, within the next 45 days, several covered benches will be added in high-ridership areas.

You can be part of the ongoing success of our great community. On Thursday, July 16th at 6pm, the Casa de Oro Alliance is proud to present our July General Assembly as a live webinar. Guest speakers, Joe Valencia and Lt. Joel Strange, will answer questions related to crime and illegal dispensaries in our neighborhood. The Casa de Oro Alliance appreciates their hard work and dedication to the Casa de Oro community as well as their close collaboration and support of CDOA. 

Also look for an update on the Casa de Oro Specific Plan being developed by San Diego County with grant funding from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and how you can get involved to shape our future.. 

You are invited! Be safe, attend virtually! To view the live stream – Go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CasadeOroAlliance . While you are there, be sure to Like and Follow our page, so that you can get the latest news from in and around Casa de Oro.

Alliance Says Goodbye and Hello

The Casa de Oro Alliance would like to thank Brenda Simmons and Lieutenant Jerry Hartman for their service to our community.

Brenda Simmons, who provided critical professional skills and personal time and commitment during the infancy of the what is now the CDOA, until last year served on the CDOA Board of Directors. Brenda chaired the CDOA Advisory committee, until recently when she announced her decision to resign in order due to the demands of her new role as leader of the Institute of Public Strategies. Many members of the Board of Directors voiced their thanks for Brenda’s service to the Casa de Oro Community and wished her good fortune in her new position.

Lt. Hartman recently announced his retirement as a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff. While never formally a member of the CDOA Board of Directors, Lt. Hartman, a native of Casa de Oro, proved a consistent and engaged champion of CDOA. Lt. Harman encouraged Casa de Oro and area communities to work with law enforcement for positive change. His many years of experience working and communicating with the public were valuable assets he generously shared with CDOA. We wish “Jerry” a happy retirement, knowing he will be missed.

Thom Hiatt, the owner of a local marketing firm, was recently welcomed as the newest member of the CDOA Board of Directors. Thom became involved with CDOA giving his time and talents working with the community outreach and economic development committees.


In the Works – A Community Investment Grant Application

 Several Alliance Board of Directors are spending their home-bound hours working on a community reinvestment grant application. Items for which funding will be requested include streetlight pole banners, planters, landscaping and other business corridor improvements. Using electronic communication methods enables important efforts to continue, even during this time of social distancing. 

Library Project Alive, CDO Staying Safe, Still Moving Forward

A Message from Bob Yarris, Casa de Oro Alliance President

The $23 million library project is in final negotiations with all parties. I am more optimistic today than I was six months ago that the library and the Field of Dreams will become a reality for Casa de Oro. 

Construction of the long-awaited curb and sidewalk on Kenwood Drive to Campo Road was scheduled to begin this month, but has been delayed due to Covid-19 emergency measures.

Small trash containers along Campo Road have been replaced with new, larger covered containers. 

Board Members walked with Metropolitan Transit Service representatives along Campo Road in February and completed a bus bench survey which resulted in the approval of new, covered benches and updated bus route signs along Campo Road. Check out this post for more information.

Bob Yarris
President, Casa de Oro Alliance

The Economic Development Committee will be distributing information packets and conducting a survey of all Casa de Oro businesses when the quarantine is lifted. Results of this survey will be shared at upcoming General Assembly meetings and may be viewed on our website when completed.

We continue to work with the Sheriff’s Department and county agencies to address problems associated with homelessness and illegal marijuana outlets in our community. Please know that we share your concerns and frustration with these challenging issues and remain committed to finding solutions.

A special thank you to our community volunteers (especially our students) who have given up their Saturday mornings once a month to pick up trash along Campo Road. A huge thank you, also, to our passionate and dedicated Board of Directors for their continued hard work and commitment to our goals and mission. 

I hope this newsletter finds everyone in good health. Remember, we’re all in this together. Take good care.

Bob Yarris

Casa de Oro Alliance – 501(c)(3) Status Confirmed

The Casa de Oro Alliance is strategically positioned to successfully move into our second generation of existence.

The Casa de Oro Alliance was excited to learn recently of the organization’s recognition by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. More importantly, donors to the Casa de Oro Alliance may be eligible to claim their generosity as charitable donations on their income taxes.

Bob Yarris, president of the Casa de Oro Alliance congratulated the organization’s board of directors. “Along [with the County’s]  decision to select a planning consultant in the next couple of weeks , the Casa de Oro Alliance is strategically positioned to successfully move into our second generation of existence.”  The Casa de Oro Alliance was formed four years ago in response to local high school student efforts to improve the Casa de Oro Campo Road business corridor.

“We have much to celebrate and look forward to. We do have a very promising future indeed,” said Yarris