Should a pot shop open near Wet n Wild park?

Should a pot shop open near Wet n Wild park?

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The city of Palm Springs may soon approve a fourth medical marijuana dispensary.

Of the eight applicants, only one met all the rules set out under the city's ordinance, but even it has a potential issue: the location, near Wet n Wild water park.

At the center of the debate is whether the city council will consider Wet n Wild a public or private park.

According to the city's ordinance, a medical marijuana dispensary must be more than 500 feet from a public playground or park.

The dispensary in question, Palm Springs Safe Access, is set to be 484 feet from the corner of Wet n Wild's lot.

Dispensary president, Robert Van Roo, spoke with News Channel 3 exclusively and says the dispensary would be more than 1,000 feet from the entrance to the park.   

General manager of Wet n Wild, David Andrews, says the water park considers itself a public facility and under the zoning rules of the ordinance, the dispensary would be too close.

"They were thinking of public parks that are run and maintained by city of Palm Springs.  That's not the case here, it's a for-profit, private entertainment facility," Van Roo said. "I do not believe it would affect their business."

"It's absolutely going to affect our business.  There's a number of our pass holders who have spoken and said they do not want the dispensary there, and if that does it's going to change their decisions on coming to the water park," Andrews said.

Andrews said he's also worried about the park's security should the dispensary open nearby.    

Van Roo told City Council he's willing to work with the park by adjusting his building designs and is open to the council re-evaluating the dispensary if any issues come up.

City Council decided to postpone its vote to approve or deny the dispensary because council member Chris Mills was absent.

They're expected to vote on the issue when all members are present on September 17.

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