CPA Supports Neighbors’ Appeal of Highway 1 Cannabis Operation (Big Bend)

Citizens Planning Association supports the appeal by Ms. Sally Isaacson et al of this cannabis operation. CPA has voiced concern about other cannabis operations, but we feel very strongly that this operation should not have been granted an LUP.

Lack of water is a huge issue for this particular project. Recent information regarding the history of farming in the area proves that the permit was granted with faulty information. There has never been irrigated farming on this land. CPA finds the water information provided in this appeal most compelling, especially as our water resources are diminishing in this current drought.

CPA agrees with the appellant about the importance of El Jaro Creek as a critical habitat for the southern steelhead, a federally recognized endangered species. This project would reduce or eliminate pools in many areas of the creek.

Our North County members travel Highway 1 on a regular basis and are concerned about any increase in big rig traffic on this already dangerous highway. Cannabis operations have already negatively impacted traffic along Highway 246 and Santa Rosa Road. To add more dangerous traffic along this 3rd Lompoc Valley access and egress road increases the negative impacts of this particular project.

In reviewing the information you have already received in support of this appeal, the CPA board is very impressed with the input by long time respected family farmers and agriculturalists from throughout the County. Because of the lack of a water source and the strong possibility of interfering with the existing wells of long time neighboring farmers in the area, you should support this appeal.

CPA urges the commissioners to study the proposed findings provided by staff. Based on the information we have read, CPA feels commissioners are unable to make those findings, especially Finding 1.1 which claims new information does not change the CEQA review and that conditions of approval are adequate. Finding 2.1 can also no longer be made in terms of adequate setbacks from creeks.

Respectfully, Marell Brooks. Lompoc Resident and President of Citizens Planning Association