Board of Supervisors Meeting May 18th
|The proposed changes to the cannabis permitting process will be some of the most significant land use changes in Sonoma County in the last 40 years. Tuesday, May 18th is our best and last chance to influence the Board of Supervisors before they vote on the draft cannabis ordinance. Below are directions on how to join the Zoom meeting. The public will be given an opportunity, probably 90 seconds each, to talk about your concerns and objections. It is important that we all consistently demand the need for an Environmental Impact Report which will provide the science needed to determine where and at what scale cannabis should be grown.
Some talking points to keep in mind:
The cannabis policy you will be reviewing will drastically change the look and feel of Sonoma County. It’s bad for our environment, our limited water supply, our parks and of course its bad for our neighborhoods.
According to a Press Democrat survey in 2018, 77% of respondents said they didn’t want to live within a mile of cannabis operations.
Please – vote yes to a full Environmental Impact Report. Please amend Chapter 26 to include 1,000’ setbacks from the property line to help mitigate the neighborhood compatibility issues. A 1,000’ setback from schools should apply to our homes where these same children live and play.
Please vote no to chapter 38 because it relies on a broken and potentially illegal SMND.
SPECIFICALLY, we want the County to change the following:
1. Invest in a full Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to determine suitable areas for future grows. The existing SMND is fatally flawed and should be scrapped.
2. Limit permit approvals during a state-declared drought to applicants that grow cannabis only using dry farming techniques.
3. Prohibit trucking of water or recycled wastewater under all circumstances.
4. Ensure that residential wells do not run dry due to cannabis operations.
5. Ban all cannabis cultivation in Community Separators.
6. Increase setbacks from the property line of all residences, schools, childcare facilities and parks to 1,000 feet for outdoor and hoop house cultivation and 300 feet minimum for indoor cultivation.
7. Require cannabis processing in facilities in commercial and industrial zones only.
8. Require fire inspection reports on all hoop houses.
9. Require that no odor will cross the property line for all indoor cultivation and processing.
10. Prohibit cannabis events near homes and in agricultural or resource zones.
11. Enforce code violations within two weeks, maximum, as County enforcement has been spotty at best and lousy at worst for existing permits.
12. Require posting of a $50,000 mitigation bond upon issuance of each permit.
13. Update cannabis ordinance to comply with the County’s tree ordinance and prevent removal of oak trees.
14. Limit acreage in any 10-mile square zone to prevent over-concentration of any one area.
15. Impose a local residency requirement, where “operators” are defined as owning at least 51% of the applying business.
16. Change the initial permits period to one year, to match the State and test this new policy.
Pushing through a major policy change like this — during a pandemic when so many people are struggling and distracted, during a drought emergency with inadequate water study, without a real environmental review, or listening to affected neighbors — it’s an unnecessary rush to judgment. Slow down, listen to neighbors and the environmental community, and let’s do this the right way.
Meeting Details: Sonoma County BOS considers the Proposed Cannabis Ordinance
Tuesday, May 18 at 8:30 AM
County web site calendar
1. WATCH LIVESTREAM:
Once the meeting has started, click the “In Progress” hyperlink to begin viewing.
2. JOIN THE ZOOM MEETING:
Participate by computer, tablet, or smartphone application:
Go to: https://sonomacounty.zoom.us/j/97341546689?pwd=dm13UncrVUNuRytrdFk3RkVCSGdkdz09
Enter meeting ID: 973 4154 6689
Enter Password: 899810
Participate by phone:
Dial +1 (669) 900 9128
Enter meeting ID: 973 4154 6689
Enter password: 899810
Public Comment may be made via email or during the live zoom meeting. To submit an emailed public comment to the Board email email@example.com. Please provide your name, the agenda number(s) on which you wish to speak, and your comment. These comments will be emailed to all Board members. Public comment during the meeting can be made live by joining the Zoom meeting using the above provided information. Available time for comments is determined by the Board Chair based on agenda scheduling demands and total number of speakers.
SOSN is a coalition of neighborhood residents and neighborhood groups advocating common sense cultivation of commercial marijuana in Sonoma County. We are all local resident volunteers, dependant on donations
Join our coalition of concerned Sonoma County neighbors
Learn more at: www.sosneighborhoods.com