“…County staff, the Cannabis ad Hoc Committee (Hopkins and Gore) and the industry don’t want this limitation put on cannabis and are now suggesting that a new ordinance lessening setbacks and favoring industry over residents be implemented.”
FOG URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO PROTECT WEST COUNTY TRAIL FROM IMPACTS OF CANNABIS PROJECTS
Close to 600 people signed a petition to protect the West County Trail, but protection of the trail is on the chopping block come October. Friends of Graton (FOG) worked last year to get a 1000-foot setback for parks, trails and schools.Officials now propose to make any setback voluntary!Depending on the mood of the grower, that could mean no setback at all! After waiting over a year for the “Neighborhood Compatibility” component of the Cannabis Ordinance, which was promised to concerned neighbors and groups as Phase 2, we have found that the County plans on loosening cannabis rules, conceding to pressure from the industry to open up commercial cannabis and reduce oversight and regulation. These ordinance revisions are agendized for the Planning Agency on October 15, 2020. That seems a long way away right now, but the Ordinance will be delivered fully formed at that point and it will be much more difficult for those worried about the downside of cannabis (for Friends of Graton, primarily odor and crime) to have any say in how it is treated in Sonoma County.
In the present Cannabis Ordinance, the trail (being a County park) is protected by a 1000 foot setback from outdoor and greenhouse cannabis grows. County staff, the Cannabis ad Hoc Committee (Hopkins and Gore) and the industry don’t want this limitation put on cannabis and are now suggesting that a new ordinance lessening setbacks and favoring industry over residents be implemented. Other communities, counties, states have very strict and large setback requirements for cannabis, especially outdoor.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Please take this opportunity to PROTECT the West County Trail! Waiting until it is a done deal will be too late. If sent TODAY, the County will know that many people care not just a “small, vocal group” as many who are concerned about cannabis impacts are labeled.
Tell them that you want actual neighborhood concerns, such as odors and crime, included in Phase 2 of the cannabis ordinance. If you feel 1000 foot setbacks are important to protect trail users from smell and crime or if you feel setbacks to residences should be as large as those to schools and parks, tell them. Children should be protected wherever they are, schools, parks or homes. Please mention any other cannabis-related issues that you feel strongly about. Anna Ransome For Friends of Graton (FOG)