CPA Weighs in on the Cannabis Ordinance

January 25, 2019

To: Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors

Re: Proposed Cannabis Ordinance

Citizens Planning Association appreciates the opportunity to discuss possible changes to the existing cannabis ordinance. Our suggestions are based on discussions with impacted neighbors from throughout the County. We would also like to comment on Staff’s recommendations.

CPA supports the following changes.

  • Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for all cannabis activities in all zones.This will allow for increased transparency for community members .

  • Prohibit cannabis activity on AG-1 properties of 20 acres or less.

  • Notice for applications for all cannabis activities sent to all property owners within two miles of the application location.

  • No cannabis activities located within of schools, day care centers, youth centers or residential areas, including cities, townships, EDRNs.

  • Size limits on cannabis grows within Santa Barbara County.Limit indoor grows to 22,000 square feet; limit outdoor grows to 1 acre per APN.

  • No cannabis permits of any kind issued in watersheds deemed by the state to be high risk.

  • Odor control requirements specifying that no odor may leave the parcel for both indoor as well as outdoor grows.(Cannabis is not protected by the Right to Farm Act)

  • Create a means for tracking acreage of cannabis grown in the country and NOT rely solely on state licenses.

  • Allow NO transport or importation of water from an outside source.

  • Compliance officers have been hired and we appreciate this. However, complaint driven enforcement puts the onus on the neighbors and is very frustrating to the public. Active enforcement should include prompt shutting down of expired temporary license holders, growers with invalid licenses, as well as new operators without a Provisional Annual license and not in possession of a local land use entitlement, local cannabis business license, and a State Annual license.

  • Complaints must be allowed to state “in the vicinity of . . .” and NOT require an APN or physical address; approximate location needs to be sufficient.

  • Fines should be increased to encourage full compliance with the ordinance.

In addition to encouraging these changes, we would like to comment on Staff’s recommendations. CPA supports:

1. Cannabis testing done only in existing commercial and/or industrial zoned areas.

2. Keep the ‘no retail on land zoned AG or residential’ mandate.

3. No generators for lighting and/or cameras. Motion-activated solar-powered battery lighting and cameras are preferred. Lights should not be on all night but only when motion is detected. Lights which are fully shielded and solar powered and battery-operated security camera are available and should be required.

The cannabis ordinance should not undermine any Community Plan. To avoid the one size fits all approach, CPA encourages staff to use individual community plans in creating policy. EDRN’s also need special attention as they are really residential in nature.

CPA supports a thorough and transparent process in the creation of county land use ordinances. We encourage staff to take the time necessary in this revisitation of the cannabis ordinance to include the concerns of the impacted neighborhoods.


Mary Ellen Brooks and Betsy Cramer, Co-Presidents

Citizens Planning Association

916 Anacapa St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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