From the field, Cazadero

From the field, Cazadero

To: Lynda Hopkins, Tim Ricard

Thank you for meeting with us in Cazadero a couple weeks back. It was very kind of you to take the time. However as we get near the meeting next Tuesday, I suspect not much will change. The County will persist on expecting budget windfalls from this project to offset the expenses from last October’s fires.  The growers complain about all the fees and rules, yet that’s part of doing any business, planning ahead to see if it is feasible.  That goes for you all too.

How many costs will ensue from this project? How many staff hours are expended?   How do you expect to get staff to travel far and wide to review the grows?  Why are we as regular citizens supposed to be responsible to let you know of violations? Is this our job?  Have you considered the revenge from these growers when we citizens object?  It has happened.

Have you considered the increased fire risk? This invasion multiplies the risk with more traffic and the loss of our local VFD which is being consolidated plus the closing of the Pole Mountain Fire lookout.  Is it so important to allow grows up here for the possible income stream yet ignore the real concerns of so many of your constituents?

Have you considered the lack of water up here?  Many springs are drying up, particularly those bordering grows.  Is there enough for residents who don’t grow but represent a large majority of your constituents?  This is a class 4 water scarce area.  Are growers to have the right to use all that water and leave the rest of us dry?  Last drought every citizen was to save lots of water, let their lawns go dry, etc.  The vineyards could use all they wanted and I guess now the cannabis grow will also benefit.

Do you know that most of the growers up here are on HOAs?  The dirt roads we maintain pass through many properties before they get to the fences and security that are required for growers.  How does this keep the rest of us safe and secure as they go through the ranch?  Does the County realize that these 40 acre parcels are very steep so even though it’s well over the 10 acre rule, it’s not all planting area like a flat acreage in the valley.

The only solution is to declare this an exclusion zone or risk crime, fires, and the real fears of the neighborhoods. Neighborhood compatibility, just words?  Please shut down this and take it back to the drawing board.  I will sit as one of many witnesses to your decision.

Sherry Madrone, 44 year resident, taxpayer, property owner.  Cazadero Hills, Navarro Ranch

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