Potential big changes may come for Cannabis Ordinances and may affect project!
The County of Sonoma proposes to amend the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance, Cannabis Health Ordinance, and Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance. These updates will be in two parts. Part 1 of the amendment is geared towards fixing neighborhood compatibility problems that have arisen since the arrival of the Cannabis Ordinance. These updates can have a large impact on your cannabis cultivation plans. Some of the proposed changes could impede some use permits, while having a beneficial impact on others.
The summary of updates are as follows:
Cannabis Permit Requirement (Land Use Table Amendment)
There are 5 policy options. The first option would require a use permit for all sizes of cultivation operations within Non-Industrial Zones (currently cultivation up to 10,000 sqft is allowed with only a zoning permit within LEA and DA lands). The second option would require a use permit for all properties less than 10 acres within Non-Industrial zones. Option three will require a use permit for properties less than 10 acres only within the diverse agricultural zone. The fourth option would require use permits for all cannabis operations within the diverse agricultural zone. The fifth and final option would require a 10 acre minimum parcel size within the diverse agricultural zone.
Inclusion Combining District
There are four proposed policy options. The first would allow cultivation within Rural Residential, Agriculture Residential, Limited Commercial, and Agricultural Services District. The second option is to limit cultivation by planning areas, limit cultivation by area for planned cultivation area, and limit cultivation to properties with historic cannabis use. The third policy option would create a criterion for cultivation including minimum parcel size, proximity to agricultural uses, limitation on size or type of cannabis cultivation. The fourth option is applying standards. These standards apply to residential and commercial. For residential cultivation, the operator shall reside on the property full-time. For Commercial cultivation, it would restrict other cannabis services and restrict visitor serving uses.
Separation Criteria-Setback to Public Parks
There are three options:
The first would be to keep setbacks the same at 1,000 feet from property line. The second would be to increase it to 2,000 feet from property line. The final option would be to allow a reduction of setback from public parks in certain situations.
Measurement of Propogration Area to Support Onsite Cultivation
The planning commission is recommending allowing an additional 25% propagation area. This new addition is to support onsite cultivation, with a use permit.
Term of Cannabis Land Use Permits
Another recommended amendment from the planning commission is to extend the term of cannabis permits. This would increase the cannabis use permits from 1 year to 5 years. This would also increase cannabis zoning permits from 1 year to 2 years.
Planning your Cannabis Cultivation Project
The BC Engineering Group staff has developed numerous site plans and use permit applications can walk you through every step of the Cannabis use permitting process. As a leading civil engineering design firm, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have regarding cannabis cultivation. Take advantage of our experience and contact us today for your cannabis and agricultural land development needs, we are here to help.
For more information on cannabis cultivation permitting and other land planning services, please contact us at 707-542-4321, or find us on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also stay up to date with civil engineering and land planning issues by subscribing to our blog.