UKIAH 1/18/2017 — Property owners Kenneth and Lynn Wood will likely have a larger than average audience on Thursday morning, as they seek the Mendocino County Planning Commission’s approval of a minor subdivision on Lake Mendocino Drive. That’s because the next two items on the agenda for the planning commission meeting, which starts at 9am on January 19 in the Board of Supervisors chambers at 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah, are all about county pot policy. But the Woods are still going first, so good luck to them in front of the crowd.
The main event of the day is the commission’s expected decision over whether it will recommend that the board of supervisors adopt the county’s proposed cannabis cultivation ordinances, with the mitigations laid out in a study by Laco Associates, a Eureka-based environmental consulting firm with an office in Ukiah.
The board of supervisors will consider the commission’s recommendation at a separate meeting. If the board approves the commission’s recommendation, the ordinances will become the law in the county within 30 days of the board’s approval. The matter could come before the supes as late as March, or the board could decide to take it up immediately. The supervisors are within their rights to send it back to the planning commission for another round of amendments.
Because currently only three supervisors are considering cannabis matters, any recommendation must meet with their unanimous approval in order to become part of the county code.
The county’s proposed ordinances are: adding chapter 10A.17, the medical cannabis cultivator ordinance, to the county agriculture code; and adding chapter 20.242, the medical cannabis cultivation site, to the county’s zoning code.
The commission will also consider amendments to county policies regarding agricultural preserves and Williamson Act contracts related to cannabis cultivation.
Other developments in the county’s weed policy appear to have been designed specifically for a future where the county’s proposed ordinances are the law of the land. At its meeting on December 19, the board of supervisors agreed that a cannabis-related nuisance would be one that violates the county’s ordinances. On January 10, the board adopted a schedule of fees for cultivators, including nursery operators, which will be effective February 19.
Sarah Reith [email protected]