From the field: Enforcement where are you?
To Whom It May Concern,
In 2018, my family along with my three neighbors whom all reside on Herrerias Way in Petaluma, Ca was negatively impacted due to a large marijuana grow operation that was set up without our permission less than ½ a mile from our homes, near an Elementary School and across the street from a Church and Preschool. In the middle of beautiful vineyards lye, a 1-acre marijuana grow operation with a wooden fence that surrounded hundreds of white hoop houses. Our gorgeous seasonal changing vineyards that we had come to know as our backyard had become infiltrated. Regardless of whose home you were in, we all shared the same unsightly view. Not only were we subjected to looking at this new operation, but we also had to deal with heavy traffic coming and going from the location, noise issues as well as the horrific smell.
We also endured medical complications that arose from the grow being so close to our homes. I have asthma and chronic bronchial issues which became exacerbated from the fumes permeating from the marijuana. This required me to be placed on new medications including two different inhalers to help alleviate my symptoms. I could not go in my own backyard or use my swimming pool without becoming ill. My neighbors experienced medical issues as well. One neighbor was sent to the hospital after becoming ill from the stench that was invading her home daily. Another one of my neighbors has a family member who has Cystic Fibrosis and is on a ventilator to assist in his breathing. The grow operation caused him to develop severe phlegm causing his breathing tubes to become clogged. He was sent to the hospital several times due to this complication. This young man enjoyed going outside in his wheelchair and strolling up and down the street with his family but since the marijuana grow operation invaded our neighborhood, he was no longer able to do this.
Together, we would come to find out that this grow operation was illegally set up and that the proper permits for this grow operation were not completed. We then reached out to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisor for help on how to resolve this issue. I am sad to say that they were little to no help at all when it came to this matter. We would eventually as a group, hire an attorney to help us fight against this illegal marijuana grow operation and prevail against the perpetrator.
I find it extremely shameful that three years later the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors are continuing to support the marijuana grow industry in our County. The proposed marijuana ordinance that is being brought forth clearly shows that the Board has no respect for its community members or the environment. They are allowing permits to be obtained without public knowledge, removing all health, safety and nuisance protections, and giving permission for 10 acres grow sites all while retaining inadequate setbacks requirements.
Remember my neighbors and I fought against a 1 acre grow operation, imagine what the health conditions, noise, traffic, and other variables the community and our environment will have to endure if this ordinance passes. Stand up, fight for what is right and do not let the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors get away harming Sonoma County or the amazing people who live here.