Cannabis biz along West County Trail stirs protest

On the cannabis trail in Graton
By E.I. Hillin, Staff Writer, Oct 24, 2018

Cannabis biz along West County Trail stirs protest

A proposed cannabis project along West County Regional Trail has residents fired up and county supervisors

looking for answers to why bike lane trails are classified differently than regional parks.

Fifth District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said she believes regional trails are part of the regional parks network.

“In my opinion it should be considered a linear park,” Hopkins said.

But as of now the county does not share that opinion. Although the regional parks department maintains regional trails, county staff told supervisors during the Oct. 16 meeting that the county’s general plan classifies trails as transportation corridors.

A land use permit for cannabis cultivation requires at least a 1,000-foot setback from a park’s property line to the cannabis operation site. Although the West County Regional Trail is listed as recreational and protected within the county’s Open Space and Conservation Element, the 13-acre cannabis site proposed for Graton would not fall under the setback requirement.

Tim Ricard, Sonoma County Cannabis Program Manager, said staff is looking at the issue. “We received direction from the board to explore options,” he said. Ricard and other county staff will present those options in the next cannabis ad hoc meeting.

Graton residents protest cannabis project

Graton residents, who found out about the cannabis application only days before the supervisor’s meeting, worked quickly to assemble a group to show up and voice their concerns. The public comments stirred supervisors to add the issue to the list of potential amendments to the updated cannabis ordinance.

Continues here