Rural neighborhoods win a stay and environmental review of proposed cannabis expansion
May 18th 2021 Board of Supervisors Meeting
The long and tortured road of our local ordinances governing land use policy and marijuana.
After five years of unending conflicts between long time rural residents and hopeful marijuana speculators, our Supervisors finally hit the wall of reality. They must conduct an EIR per State law and CEQA requirements.
SOS Neighborhoods applauds Supervisor Rabbitt for his standing up for what is right and for rural neighbors. He championed what is best for the broad and diverse community of Sonoma County, a community which places its highest values on the best stewardship of our environment and agricultural lands. We are a community of many rural residential neighborhoods unified in these shared values and we’re grateful for Supervisor Rabbitt taking a brave stand in support of our values these past several years.
The timeline to be clarified in coming weeks. There will be community workshops and a scoping session to clarify what the EIR will address.
All in all, a great day for neighborhoods and the environment.
David Rabbitt’s suggestion that someone needs to do a count of how many applications are from small local farmers vs outside operators
“But board members acknowledged that Supervisor David Rabbitt was right in calling years ago for an assessment of the measure’s impact by outside consultants.”
“It is frustrating,” Rabbitt said. “We have been spinning our wheels and haven’t made much progress. The reality is we haven’t done a good job.”
“I think the county does owe the community an apology,” she said. “Going forward we need to better.”
Supervisor Susan Gorin said the future discussion and the environmental assessment need to consider “neighborhood compatibility” of cannabis.
“We should have followed your lead,” she told Rabbitt.
You can reach Supervisor Rabbitt at David.Rabbitt@sonoma-county.org
SOSN expresses our deep appreciation to all the members who took time to express their opposition and to all the neighborhood coalitions, the Core team, PR team, Legal team, Neighborhood Coordination team and Policy team for this hard fought victory – a victory for the rights of rural citizens to the peaceful enjoyment of their property and their quality of life, free from destructive incursion by mostly outside commercial drug interests and speculators.
Following text is from the original cannabis ordinance, describing requirements for cultivation sites. If the Board only followed it…
“The design location size and operating characteristics of the use is considered compatible with the
existing and future land uses within the vicinity. The use would not be detrimental to the health,
safety, peace, comfort and general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of such use, nor be detrimental or injurious to property and improvements in the neighborhood or the general welfare of the area.”