If the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approves the draft cannabis ordinance, some permits will be ministerial with no notice given to neighbors and no way to object to site-specific particulars. Health and safety protections and notice to impacted neighbors will disappear. The presumption is that a cannabis operation is no different than a tomato crop.
Real estate sellers will be unable to disclose if an application is pending, and buyers could be making serious financial decisions without full knowledge. A County Counsel at a recent “town hall” meeting stated that owners could apply for a property tax reduction if they felt they were negatively impacted. Not much consolation if your property value has dropped substantially or if you have serious buyer’s remorse. Besides the issues of 24/7 operation, noise and water consumption in a drought, there will be the additional impact on our scenic aesthetic not to mention odor and crime.
It would benefit the county if our supervisors followed Napa’s decision to disallow commercial production. There is no particular cannabis shortage that I am aware of, however, the much appreciated world-class aesthetic of Sonoma County is unique and deserves to be protected.
— Cary Fargo, Graton