PARK SETBACKS: COMMENTS ON UPCI7-0012 -CANNABIS SETBACK REDUCTION – JACK LONDON STATE PARK
Subject: COMMENTS ON UPCI7-0012 -CANNABIS SETBACK REDUCTION – JACK LONDON STATE PARK
SUBJECT: REDUCTION IN PARK SETBACK TO JACK LONDON STATE PARK FOR OUTDOOR CANNBIS GROW- UPC 17-0012
Note: Copies to Lisa Mangat, Director of California State Parks, Vicki Perez, Commission Liaison who establishes general policies for the guidance of the Director in the administration, protection and development of the system, Elaine Knight, The Bay Area District liaison in Petaluma, and Bert Whitaker, the Sonoma County Regional Parks Director.
My name is Brantly Richardson. I am a neighborhood representative to the Cannabis Advisory Group. As such I represent a coalition of concerned citizens whose membership include folks from Petaluma, Penngrove, Bennett Valley, Cougar Lane, unincorporated Sebastopol, Valley Ford and Bodega, Palmer Creek, Graton and Leslie lane. Some of the groups I represent are large such as FOG, Wine and Water Watch, No Pot on Purvine and SOSN with over 600 members, some are smaller groups of residents and others are single persons concerned about a grow in their neighborhood. Our coalition opposed the amendment to the Ordinance that the applicant was successful in promoting and achieving over our objections. I question whether this parcel is eligible for a park reduction setback, as it was not a pipeline project (the application was withdrawn) and was previously not permit eligible for an outdoor grow until the ordinance changed- which now also includes the 10-acre minimum. Thus the 10-acre minimum needs to apply for the outdoor grow. The pipeline amendment does not trump the 10-acre minimum amendment. The application was withdrawn and was never in the pipeline.
This is my first peek at one of the requests for a park setback reduction and I find it woefully inadequate. The medical history and cultivation methods used by the applicant are of no relevance to his request for a park setback reduction and do not belong in such a study. Does this request suggest that applicants with no life-threatening diseases be excluded from consideration? Or that those not practicing biodynamic cultivation be overlooked as well?
Moreover, it is not clear from the written report how far the cultivation site is from the nearest property line of the park. Such information should not be hidden in attached maps. Using the closest commonly used hiking path or gathering area is not an option, the public is not limited to trails, and new trails and facilities may be added in the future. It is our position that no part of the public’s land should be impacted by the cannabis operation. All the park property belongs to the citizens of the State of California. It has been documented that even when hidden by trees unacceptable strong odor from outdoor grows can be detected over 1000 feet away. I would like to know how far the cultivation site is not only from the main parking lot but how far from the house where Jack London’s wife lived and what is now the museum and main attraction and the Transcendence Theater Co. Broadway Under the Stars outdoor concert venues.
The report is heavy on description of impenetrable vegetation, but it must be noted that although vegetation may screen the property from the public’s view it does not absorb odors.
The study also does not show if the cannabis operation will intrude upon any wildlife corridor, such as creek beds, wetlands, riparian areas and natural corridors through developed land. Blocking animal access is counter to the purpose of any park.
The biotic report appears to be boiler plate to pad the report and looks suspiciously like the one prepared for the applicant’s partner, Joey Ereneta, for three more acres of their very special marijuana off Sonoma Hwy. I suggest planner Gary Helfrich compare this report for UPC17-0012 with the planner, Sou Garner (firstname.lastname@example.org), for UPC17-0048 which was prepared by Wiemeyer Ecological Services. How many times did Hogan visit the UPC17-0012 to prepare such a report?
Finally, the applicant professes a strong commitment to Jack London State Park and should therefore agree that if his cultivation is approved and if odor is detectable from his grow, he will immediately destroy his crop and his permit shall be terminated. He will concur that the reduction in setback granted by the County was a mistake; the County will entertain no mitigations and the applicant will not propose any. If the applicant is convinced odor will not be a problem, he should have no hesitation in signing such a condition.
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