CPA Supports Tighter Cannabis Ordinance

TO: Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
RE: 5-24-22 BOS Hearing: Amendments to Cannabis Land Use ordinance

Dear Chair Hartmann and Board Members:

As you know, Citizens Planning Association has repeatedly expressed concerns about the inadequate protections and safeguards that the County’s uniquely permissive Cannabis ordinance affords to local residents. These impacts, throughout the County, are further exacerbated by the limited protections provided by simple Land Use Permits or Coastal Development Permits. Thus, we support the Planning Commission’s proposed amendments to the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance.

The proposed amendments would amend the Land Use and Development Code to require approval of a Conditional Use Permit, instead of a Land Use permit, for commercial cannabis cultivation in AG-II and Manufacturing zones of the inland area.

These requirements should apply to any project that has not received final approval, including those several projects under appeal.

CPA believes a requirement for a CUP may help mitigate the impacts created by the multitude of large outdoor grows concentrated along rural highways. The impacts to water usage, traffic, existing agriculture all must be considered on a case-by-case basis to ensure adequate conditions are attached to any grant of a permit. We do support the Planning Commission’s further recommendation that an Odor Abatement Plan be required for all commercial cannabis operations.


Marell Brooks
President, Citizens Planning Association