On Thursday, Aug. 17, the city’s Design Review Board decided to issue a continuance to allow the applicant, Daryl Bell, more time to elaborate on and amend major exterior design modifications at 3115 S. Hemlock St.
If approved, this would be the third retail marijuana shop to come to Cannon Beach.
Nancy Benson, the project manager from Grace Design and Landscaping LLC, represented Bell at the meeting and described their goal for the business as “high end.”
Bell, who has spent the last couple of years building out dispensaries for clients, is expanding his career in cannabis on the coast to places like Rockaway Beach, Pacific City and, hopefully, Cannon Beach, Benson said. Bell’s pitch for a marijuana shop at a condominium complex near Pier 39 in Astoria was rejected by the Astoria City Council last year.
“This is going to be a very nice place. Our goal as a company is to make it look nice,” Benson said of the Cannon Beach store.
But before moving forward, Bell and his team must address parking issues identified by the city. As plans stands now, parking spaces are drawn onto the city’s right of way, City Planner Mark Barnes said.
“The problem here is these are private spaces half in the public sphere,” Barnes said. Bell will have to work with public works to find different solutions before the next Design Review Board meeting Sept. 21 in order to secure approval.
More abstractly, board members took issue with the lack of detail in the application. Bell provided plans to paint the building and modify windows, along with general landscaping ideas, but the board wasn’t satisfied without seeing a full mock up. Barnes also noted the lack of discussion concerning meeting ventilation and signage requirements in the proposal.
“We look at actual samples of paints and facade,” board member Sandi Lundy said. “It’s just a matter of us being able to physically see the changes you are suggesting.”
Some neighbors took issue with the vague nature of the design plans, including Steve Crane, the property adviser of Lodges at Cannon Beach next door. In written testimony sent to the city, he thought more needed to be done to help rehabilitate a structure that has been sitting vacant for years.
Just repainting the building, Crane wrote, “is like putting lipstick on a pig.”.
Escape Lodgings President Patrick Nofield leases space from a modular unit connected to the property, and asked board members to wait on approval before issues like adequate parking and more thorough designs were presented.
One of his concerns was making sure this property was “architecturally compatible” with the rest of Tolovana.
“I’ve leased space for 10 years, and I know that building needs help,” Nofield said. “It needs more work than what this plan is showing.”
Kiki Meletis is a co-trustee of Demetrios Meletis Living Trust, which owns the property, and said having the new business move in was a great way to “revitalize the property in a timely way.”
Benson said she and Bell are happy to work with the city to make sure the business fits with the community.
“This is a community thing, so I want community input,” Benson said.