CPA Supports Stronger Process for Cannabis Ordinance Amendments

July 5, 2019

TO:  Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors


Citizens Planning Association asks the BOS to accept the Planning Commission recommended ordinances amending the County Land Use and Development Code, the Coastal Zoning Ordinance (Article II), to: (1) provide additional noticing requirements for certain commercial cannabis activities within the unincorporated inland areas and Coastal Zone of Santa Barbara County; and (2) further regulate commercial cannabis activities in the Agriculture I (AG-I) zone in the unincorporated inland areas of Santa Barbara County.


CPA asks that the Board consider a commercial cannabis ban on AG-1-20 acre or under parcels in the Coastal Zone or, at minimum, require CUPs for any commercial cannabis grows in the Coastal Zone. We feel that this would be more in line with the Gaviota Community Plan. Having stronger controls for inland Ag parcels vs coastal Ag parcels would create differential zoning treatment.


CPA also would like to see a reconsideration of allowing commercial cannabis in EDRNs and other parcels in AG-!-20, especially  in the Santa Ynez Valley. CPA members participated in the SY Community Plan and also followed the winery ordinance process. During those hearings, many ranchette owners requested that their properties be considered ‘residential’ in nature. 


We are also concerned about the proliferation of pot farms on larger agricultural parcels along Santa Rosa Road and Highway 246. We suggest a reasonable cap in the number of pot farms in these areas.


CPA also agrees that CEQA review should be reopened since the County's EIR did not address the impact of cannabis terpenes/VOCs on ozone and smog air pollution. Air pollution (ozone/smog) was not covered by the County's EIR and is an environmental impact that needs to be evaluated. 


Lastly, the County and APCD should note that under applicable laws, cannabis is not considered a "crop" under the Right to Farm Act. Manufacturing is not an "Agricultural Operation". The County and APCD need to evaluate the significant air pollution issues caused by commercial cannabis grows.

CPA supports the letters submitted by the cities of Carpinteria and Goleta. We commend the BOS for listening to county residents who are being negatively impacted by a hastily developed ordinance.


Marell Brooks

Co-President, Citizens Planning Association

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