Friends of Graton

LA Times reporting that this is the third driest year in state history today! This has to be the most ridiculous ordinance proposal in light of drying up wells already around the county. Please consider donating to the fund. 


The Planning Commission (PC) met again on 3/25/21 to discuss the Draft Cannabis Ordinance (Chapter 38). After a long deliberation, they decided to vote on some proposed changes to the ordinance on April 15. This will delay the Board of Supervisors (BOS) date until May 25 (tentative.)

In a nutshell, the Planning Commission called a straw vote (3-2) to proceed with the draft ordinance by making minor alterations to send to the BOS. All seemed to recognize that the Draft Ordinance would need a more thorough and appropriate study, an Environmental Impact Report. The 62 page law firm letter that I sent you recently, pointing out multiple California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) deficiencies, no doubt had a lot to do with this decision.

In the interim they decided to tweak the ordinance with minor changes. This is quasi legal, as recognized by the PC chairman. Also, the PC decided to recommend not moving forward with the General Plan Amendment, which is the document that would have established cannabis as an ag crop and would have made cannabis subject to right-to-farm law. The BOS may overturn any of these decisions.

The issue of setbacks to parks and trails was thrown back and forth, with some suggesting reducing the draft setbacks to 600′ instead of 1000.’ Also, at least 3 commissioners wanted Class 1 Bikeway setbacks removed entirely. People walk on those trails and would be impacted if setbacks are eliminated. We will not know what the suggested changes are until April 15, and then the BOS can change setbacks once again in May.

A few excellent letters were entered into the public record prior to last Thursday’s PC meeting. Two letters from law firm Shute, Mihaly, Weinberger pointing out multiple conflicts with CEQA law, a 22 page letter from California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (attached) and a letter from California Native Plant Society, both pointing out environmental impacts that are not addressed in the draft. There were many letters from neighbors and for those we thank you!

Here is a great way to invest some of your STIMULUS CHECK to protect the Sonoma County that you love.

FOG has never requested any financial aid for our efforts, but now that we have expenses and are associated with a coalition of groups, we are reaching out. ANY amount will be helpful. As you know, this effort has taken years and untold hours of work by many dedicated Sonoma County residents.

Here is a place to donate:

Thank you.

Anna Ransome for Friends of Graton (FOG)