By:Jessyka Heredia

Video video of hearing: part 1, part 2

Photo: Applicant Chris Williams addresses the City Council.

April 8, 2023 (Lemon Grove) — During what would normally be a routine hearing by the Lemonj Grove City Council on extending a conditional use permit (CUP), Mayor Raquel Vasquez revealed that she had been offered a trip to Las Vegas by an undisclosed person to discuss the project, a medical marijuana dispensary — an action the City Attorney called an “alleged bribe.”

The hearing also included allegations that the City’s opposition to the extension was retaliation against applicant Chris Williams of Pick Axe Holdings, who said the City had approved similar extensions for other applicants.

Williams was asking for a CUP extension on his proposed dispensary at 8280 Broadway, which is set to expire on April 19. In the staff report, interim community development manager Bill Chopyk recommended that staff deny the one-year extension because “the applicant has not demonstrated progress toward satisfaction of the conditions of the Conditional Use Permit.” However, Chopyk confirmed that the applicant did turn in both his building Permit and

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