December 3, 2019
To: Board of Supervisors
Re: Herbal Angels Cannabis Project, Cebada Canyon
For 60 years, Citizens Planning Association has promoted responsible land use planning and environmental protection throughout Santa Barbara County. CPA has encouraged community planning and has supported SB County in its efforts to be proactive in the creation and updating of several community plans.
The Herbal Angels project is now threatening the residential nature of the EDRN zoning which was created in the General Plan that is now more than 35 years old. There are dozens more cannabis projects in the pipeline, along the 246 corridor and also along Santa Rosa Road. The Cannabis Ordinance has serious flaws as it does not consider the cumulative environmental impacts of all this development on agricultural lands.
CPA supports the positions presented today by the Santa Barbara Coalition for Responsible Cannabis. We agree that certain findings cannot be made. CPA agrees that this project is incompatible with the EDRN zoning and that the residents will be negatively impacted by increased traffic on their country roads and by the drilling of water wells far deeper than those existing today, thus threatening their aquifer.
The one geographical area of the County without a community plan is the Lompoc Valley. For years, the County Planning Work Program has listed a community plan process for the Lompoc Valley, but each year, this item is pushed down in the list of priorities for funding. Perhaps before a project of this size is even considered abutting this EDRN, a location which CPA considers incompatible, the County needs to allow the Lompoc area residents a chance to determine their future, both in terms of proper zoning and adequate community services.
CPA urges the Planning Commission to uphold the zoning of the General Plan and support the residents of the Cebada Canyon EDRN who bought their properties thinking the zoning protected their semi-rural community. This proposal is inappropriate with the historic uses and land use planning goals to prevent conflicts. We also urge a consideration of a Community Plan process for the entire Lompoc Valley to prevent additional negative cumulative impacts.
Mary Ellen Brooks, President
Citizens Planning Association