Supervisor Hopkins responds to community concerns about Graton

Here are our county supervisor, Lynda Hopkins, comments about the cannabis proposal in Graton:

“In the middle of October, our office learned of a use permit application for a proposed cannabis cultivation site on Railroad Street in Graton. It is important to note that the application is in the very early phase of the use permit application process.

While I cannot take a formal position for or against a project that might ultimately come before the Board of Supervisors — doing so is illegal and would demonstrate prejudice at a future hearing — please know that, as a matter of policy, I am personally concerned about any cannabis operation in such close proximity to the West County Trail, which is part of our Regional Parks network.

We currently have, in our cannabis ordinance, a 1,000-foot property line setback from parks. The spirit of this rule is designed to keep cannabis cultivation away from public uses, with the idea that families and residents of all ages have a right to enjoy public property without being exposed to cannabis cultivation and any offsite impacts that might arise from it.

Unfortunately, I have learned that county staff chose to interpret the West County Trail as not being part of the Regional Parks park system, but rather a “mode of transportation.” To me, this is completely counterintuitive and contrary to the intent of our ordinance, not to mention the public’s use of the trail.

At the Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct. 16, I requested that my colleagues on the board support me in directing staff to bring back an ordinance that would safeguard our precious trail network. The majority of the board supported my request. I also proposed a moratorium on cannabis cultivation applications adjacent to trails to allow us time to vet this issue and develop an ordinance to address our concerns. Finally, I will work as a member of the Cannabis Ad Hoc with county staff to figure out the best way to move an ordinance and possible moratorium forward.

For those who have questions or concerns about the use permit application, please contact the project planner, Steven Rosen at If you email Steven, your feedback and concerns will be considered by staff as they review the application, and your concerns must be addressed as the use permit process moves forward.”