Council to cast its vote on 2 ordinances

December 6, 2017

Two ordinances will be considered 6 p.m. tonight by the Madera City Council at its meeting.

One of them would update an ordinance allowing secondary dwelling units to be built on residential properties that can accommodate them. In earlier days, these were referred to as “mother-in-law houses,” because adult children would sometimes construct one to accommodate a parent.

“The proposed, revised ordinance is hoped to simplify the process and encourage accessory dwelling units as integral components of neighborhoods within the urban fabric of the city, as envisioned by the mandated new state laws,” according to a brief on the proposed ordinance prepared by planning manager Chris Boyle.

Madera has had an ordinance permitting what has been called secondary dwelling units since 1993. The new ordinance will essentially change their designation.

The other ordinance that will be considered would regulate the growing of marijuana in the city.

Both of these ordinances have been designed to accommodate state law.

The marijuana ordinance sets strict rules, under state law (Proposition 64), for the growing of up to six plants in any one house. The plants cannot be grown outdoors, and their presence indoors must be concealed.

Other requirements include:

• A permit must be obtained from the City of Madera prior to cultivation.

• The plants must be within a locked space not accessible to juveniles.

•There must be no evidence of cultivation occurring from any public space or adjacent property.

• The grow room must be equipped with a ventilation and filtration system designed to ensure odor does not escape the residence, and prevents moisture and mold from endangering the health and safety of any occupants.

• The use of any pressurized or flammable gas products for cultivation or or processing of cannabis is prohibited.

• The residence must be legally occupied.

Fines for violations of the ordinance would be up to $1,000 per individual plant.

Prior to this, all growing of marijuana in the city has been prohibited.

The City Council earlier decided not to consider allowing the development of retail marijuana businesses, or manufacturing of marijuana products within the city.

Proposition 64 will go into effect Jan. 1.

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