Public Opinion on cannabis rules

Suddenly, their quality of life is being compromised by the hazards of commercial cannabis cultivation: significant loss of property value, crime, noise, glare, traffic, noxious odors, massive water use.”

CANNABIS: How Close is Too Close?


Not many of us in this life have the power and opportunity to safeguard the well-being of thousands of our neighbors.

But, at this moment, you do.

I attended the Planning Commission meeting on June 28th during which changes were recommended to the Cannabis Ordinances Setback Regulations to improve Neighborhood Compatibility.

You now have a complex job on your hands. With respect, let me try to simplify it for you by asking you to keep one thing very clearly in mind:

The vast MAJORITY of residents in Sonoma County DO NOT WANT to live near a commercial cannabis operation.

Many of these residents have lived in the County their whole lives, some families for generations. Suddenly, their quality of life is being compromised by the hazards of commercial cannabis cultivation: significant loss of property value, crime, noise, glare, traffic, noxious odors, massive water use.

Many of these residents have resigned themselves to having a cannabis operation near their homes because of fear of confrontation and reprisal or because they feel powerless in the face of the massive amount of money and influence the cannabis industry brings to its lobbying efforts.

You can protect these residents – and honor the wishes of the majority of your constituents – by making two changes to the Cannabis Ordinances:

10 Acre Minimum Lot Size

1000 feet Setbacks

This would be simple. This would be fair. This would be Neighborhood Compatibility.

Many thanks for your attention,
Patrick Ball, Sebastopol

Groundwater worth less than cannabis??

To the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

As you consider the limitations on area where growing cannabis will be allowed, please remember the foremost you must fulfill your roles on the groundwater panels, established to meet State regulations established to ensure groundwater sustainability.

Your responsibility for preserving sustainable groundwater supplies throughout the County for all the foreseeable future is your most critical role, and the one which you will be judged on by the State of California and by the public that relies on groundwater supplies. In fact, we all do rely on having enough groundwater to support the flow of water in our streams, the riparian habitat for salmon and for the ecosystems that support the fish, and the Laguna’s vernal pools.

Jane E. Nielson, Ph.D., PG
Howard G. Wilshire, Ph.D.

A bad neighbor

EDITOR: The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is considering allowing cannabis grows closer to regional parks. It is unnecessary to cultivate cannabis near the parks. California grows more than five times the cannabis needed for legal demand and, according to news accounts, 80 percent of cannabis grown in California (11 million pounds) exits the state and enters illegal markets.

The current setback regulation is 1,000 feet from property line to property line. The proposed change would lessen the distance. Cannabis has a strong odor, is oily and highly flammable. Cultivation closer to parks creates safety risks for people and animals accidentally crossing out of the park and onto sites protected by dogs or guns (to prevent robberies). Some growers use strong pesticides and rodenticides, which could leach into the parks, threatening wildlife.

Growers have lobbyists and business supporters to tell their story. The public isn’t aware of how permit decisions will influence their quality of life. We, the general public, have no large support organization to actively look out for our safety and interests. Locating cannabis grows closer to regional parks is an ill-advised, short-sighted decision. Park users should speak out to their local supervisor and Bert Whitaker, the county’s director of regional parks.


Santa Rosa

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