The County has set the date for the hemp growing resolution. Our ag commissioner wants hemp cul;tization to help “stabilize” farmers income. Please note that RR (Rural Residential) zoning prohibits but other zoning not so…. Comments MUST be received 10 days prior to the hearing to be included in the staff report. If you have concerns now is the time to act. Our impaired watersheds are shown below.
?’s: Should we allow hemp in impaired watersheds? What about extreme fire zones? AR zones are designated in the General Plan as residential. Why allow with set backs? RRD should also not be allowed as this zoning is to be preserved for its resources.
Send your comments to SonomaAg@sonoma-county.org. and/or firstname.lastname@example.org. (also send to planning commissioners listed below).
FACT SHEET: Legal Notice Industrial Hemp Cultivation from Ag Commissioner
Proposed Changes to Allow Industrial Hemp Cultivation
Adopt a resolution recommending changes to Zoning Code (Chapter 26) to limit cultivation of industrial hemp within certain zoning designations and clarify definitions and allowed uses related to industrial hemp cultivation, processing, and manufacturing. Specifically prohibit industrial hemp cultivation in Rural Residential and other residential zoning designations in the county. Restrict industrial hemp production in Agriculture and Residential (AR) zoning designations by creating setbacks from structures on adjacent parcels. Restrict industrial hemp production in Resources and Rural Development (RRD) zoning designations to prohibit tree removal and grading for industrial hemp cultivation without appropriate permits for site preparation work. Clarify Agricultural Production and Agricultural Processing in Sonoma County Code to specify which activities are incidental to crop production and allowed by right, and which processing activities would be allowed through a use permit. These proposed changes include the establishment of a county industrial hemp registration program through Chapter 37 (Industrial Hemp) and provide for the regulation of industrial hemp cultivation practices.
Federal, State and local authority recognizes industrial hemp as an agricultural crop and as such its cultivation and associated post-harvest handling and processing activities should be allowed in the county wherever agriculture is allowed to occur as specified in Sonoma County Zoning Code. Industrial hemp has unique physical characteristics that are similar to psychoactive cannabis, which raises compatibility issues with residential use priorities in specific zoning designations. These proposed changes recognize and address compatibility issues with residential uses and provide for industrial hemp cultivation in zoning designations where agricultural activity is specifically prioritized or allowed by right.
Included in the proposed zoning code changes is the development of Chapter 37 provisions for regulating industrial hemp cultivation in the county of Sonoma, which include compatibility elements as well as enforcement mechanisms to prevent fraud. Industrial hemp represents a viable economic opportunity for farmers to diversify their crop production and stabilize farm income. We want to insure that this is accessible to Sonoma county farmers while we address any compatibility issues associated with the adoption of this crop in Sonoma County.
Summary of Proposed Changes
- Prohibit industrial hemp cultivation in Rural Residential (RR) zoning
- Restrict hemp cultivation in Agriculture and Residential (AR) zoning and Resources and Rural Development (RRD) zoning
- Clarify post-harvest handling practices of industrial hemp that are ancillary agricultural activities
- Clarify allowances for industrial hemp extraction activities in agricultural zones
- Create a county registration process for industrial hemp cultivation
- Regulate cultivation practices for industrial hemp
- Copy the Planning Commissioners who will be sitting on the 21st. They are: Reed, Cook, Mauritson. Lowry and Fogg. For a sample of comments see Brantly’s comments below this chart.
1st District email@example.com Richard Fogg 1st District firstname.lastname@example.org Larry Reed 2nd District email@example.com Todd Tamura 2nd District Todd.Tamura@gmail.com Paula Cook 3rd District firstname.lastname@example.org Komron Shahhosseini 3rd District komronshahhosseiniSCPC@gmail.com Ariel Kelley 4th District email@example.com Cameron Mauritson 4th District firstname.lastname@example.org Pamela Davis 5th District email@example.com John Lowry 5th District JohnLowryCA@gmail.com