Milpas Street Medical Marijuana Dispensary Faces Another Santa Barbara Challenge

In advance of Planning Commission hearing, critic appeals latest approval and asks for operating permit to be revoked

A medical marijuana dispensary proposed for 118 N. Milpas St. in Santa Barbara has been the subject of a long-running dispute with a neighboring property owner. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The fight isn’t over yet for a medical marijuana dispensary planned for North Milpas Street on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside.

Pete Dal Bello, who owns property near the proposed site at 118 N. Milpas St., has filed a 21-page appeal letter of the most recent approval of the project, including 20 bullet points outlining why he believes dispensary owner Ryan Howe’s permit should be revoked.

Dal Bello cited reasons such as a lack of environmental review, failure to provide public notice, high crime in the area, along with several other allegations, including that “Mr. Howe’s character/management can’t be trusted.”

The Planning Commission hearing is Thursday at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.

Dal Bello, an animated character who frequently speaks during the public comment portion of City Council meetings, is a Santa Barbara native and has resisted Howe’s dispensary plans at every step of the way.

Howe’s dispensary was originally approved in 2016. Dal Bello appealed that approval, but was rejected before the Planning Commission. Now, he’s appealing a different kind of action, in his attempt to block the project.

Susan Reardon, the city’s staff hearing officer, opted not to revoke Howe’s permit even though someone affiliated with the dispensary attempted to change corporate officers without prior approval from the city.

Howe said he did not authorize, nor have any knowledge of, any attempt to change the corporate officers of the Canopy Club, which is listed as the occupant of the dispensary project site.

Although Howe was supposed to be

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