From the field: A Pot Business At My Fence
Sonoma County’s commercial cannabis grow businesses should be allowed only in industrial zones, not in neighborhoods. One popped-up next door to me and turned my life upside down. This un-permitted operation sits on my fence line and is practically in my backyard. I can no longer enjoy my backyard, or live comfortably in my house due to the odor, noise, and fear from living within feet of a marijuana business.
An LLC corporation owns and leases the land to a cannabis production company. Their Diverse Agriculture parcel’s zoning rules allow their marijuana grow buildings to remain without a property line setback. Employees come-and-go 24 hours a day and I hear their discussions, vehicles, activities.
Many Sonoma County neighborhoods face this problem. A marijuana business unexpectedly appears and outraged residents are left hunting for recourse. We voted to legalize adult recreational marijuana use, but we did not vote to have it grown commercially in our neighborhoods. Sonoma County Growers Alliance estimates 5,000 grow sites already exist throughout the County.
The Board of Supervisors banned commercial marijuana operations in certain residential neighborhoods after listening to concerned residents. Many of us want the Board to make the same decision about Diverse Agriculture neighborhoods (which interweave residential zones) and restrict commercial cannabis grow businesses to industrial zones only.