Friday, November 24 , 2017, 6:40 am | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Barbara County Gathering Public Input on Draft Cannabis Land Use Ordinance

The public comment is open until Aug. 11 for the ordinance, which will regulate local marijuana cultivation and sales

Santa Barbara County held a public meeting in Santa Barbara Wednesday night to solicit public input on its draft cannabis land use ordinance, which will regulate the cultivation and sales of marijuana. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County held a public meeting in Santa Barbara Wednesday night to solicit public input on its draft cannabis land use ordinance, which will regulate the cultivation and sales of marijuana.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara County is gathering public input on its proposed cannabis regulations and the accompanying environmental review process. 

At a Wednesday meeting in Santa Barbara, Planning and Development Department staff called the draft cannabis land use ordinance a “broad” draft to guide the environmental review process.

The county wants to develop local regulations for the growing and selling of non-medical marijuana, which was legalized with the passing of California Proposition 64.  

The draft ordinance was released July 12.

Personal use of cannabis, marijuana manufacturing, retail operation permits, testing facilities, commercial development standards such as lighting, noise, fencing, odor and security measures are noted in the 36-page document.

County staff will edit the proposed ordinance based on public comment and, ultimately, it will go before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. 

Planning staff members are working on cannabis regulations for activities associated with Proposition 64, the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, and initiated the environmental review process in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

Only adults 21 years or older can grow and use cannabis for personal use within a private home, according to text from the county's draft document. Growing marijuana plants for personal use is limited to six plants per private residence and outdoor cultivation must be completely hidden from public view, according to the report.

“Proposition 64 is the law of the land, so these things are going to happen and need to happen somewhere,” one speaker said.

At Wednesday's meeting, some residents from the Carpinteria Valley raised concern about the strong plant odor and commercial development standards for lighting.

The draft ordinance states commercial cannabis cultivation lighting will be shielded to prevent the glow from trespassing into the sky or glare onto areas other than the project site.

“Greenhouses using artificial light will be shielded between sunset and sunrise,” the ordinance says. 

The report also suggests designating an individual — available 24-hours a day and seven days a week — responsible for responding to odor complaints. 

Some residents raised concerns about neighborhood safety and the proposed 600-foot buffer zone barring marijuana businesses near schools, day cares and youth centers.

Supporters of marijuana cultivation and retail sale asked the county to mandate security standards, and some recommended surveillance cameras and constant monitoring at every business.

Security measures outlined in the draft require on-site security cameras and storing cannabis products in a secured and locked room.

More than 60 people filled the Board Hearing Room on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building in Santa Barbara for the meeting. 

Planning and Development staff in attendance included Project Planner Jessica Metzger, Supervising Planner Mindy Fogg and Deputy Director Dan Klemann.

Another public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the hearing room of the Betteravia Government Center, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway in Santa Maria.

The public comment period ends at 5 p.m. Aug. 11, and written comments can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Jessica Metzger, program manager, at 123 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

Click here to read the Santa Barbara County Land Use and Development Code Draft Cannabis Land Use Ordinance. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >