From the field: Latest Sonoma County Gazette pot Op Eds

From the field: Latest Sonoma County Gazette pot Op Eds

No commercial cannabis near homes

I live in a RR (Rural Residential) area near Penngrove and Petaluma. We have paid taxes to live in this safe, tranquil residential area, originally zoned AR, since January 1989.

My neighbors and I absolutely do NOT want the encroachment of cannabis growers in this area. None of us came here to grow anything that could disturb others, nor do we want crops near us that attract thieves and violence. Recently several out-of-state criminals came to murder in search of marijuana. They did not murder to steal grapes or sheep.

Devaluing our home properties for the sake of this jeopardizing product is wrong. Even allowing a cannabis store on Ely Road with no traffic light is extremely problematic, especially considering backed up traffic and the train tracks.

At an early BOS meeting, it seemed that the BOS agreed that growers would have to stay in remote agricultural areas. Let the growers do their thing in those ag zones–NOT NEAR HOMES, preferably 5-10 miles away from the nearest residence.

Help us: NO commercial cannabis near residences!

Nancy Chien-Eriksen, Petaluma

A Cannabis 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 unpermitted 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 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 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.

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.

Robert Guthrie, Sebastopol

It is very hard to get an accurate number as to how much water is going to be used to produce on pot plant.

Industry sources say that so much is dependent on size of plant, etc etc.Marijuana Venture, an industry publication says that 50 plants will on average use 240,000 gallon for one harvest…indoor grows can produce 4 harvests a year…

So, just example…. my neighbor who has transplanted himself from Minnesota is going to be allowed to have 2000 square feet in a grow house…let’s say that will allow him to grow 2000 plants since one can grow 1 plant per square foot (also an industry standard)

So he can really grow 40 times the 50 plants mentioned above…that is 9,600,000 gallons per harvests…4 harvests a year will mean over 38,400,000 gallons used per year. . And this is a “small grow” allowed under the ordinance without any neighborhood input or review.

This is happening all over Sonoma County. I urge the supervisors to halt the permitting process and revise the ordinance so that our water resources can be assessed before the permitting process is allowed to continue.

Rachel Zierdt, Sebastopol

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