Nevada County marijuana group holds last meeting; supervisors to examine pot recommendations Jan. 9
December 19, 2017
Members of Nevada County's marijuana citizen's group focused Tuesday on as-of-yet undecided draft recommendations for a grow ordinance, such as whether personal outdoor grows could be in single-family zones and what setbacks should be for commercial grows.
Those issues remained two pieces of proposed cannabis recommendations the community advisory group couldn't agree on. A summary of the citizen group's discussion on those issues will proceed to the Board of Supervisors at its Jan. 9 meeting instead of formal recommendations.
"This afternoon isn't the end of the process," said Daniel Iacofano, CEO of MIG, Inc., the county's cannabis facilitator.
Panelists' opinions on outdoor grows in single-family zones differed greatly. Lee French, one panelist, said he opposed any grows in residential areas. Panelist Forrest Hurd, an advocate of medicinal cannabis, called three plants outdoors a good compromise.
"I think three is completely reasonable," panelist Erin Tarr said.
Panelist Michael Mastrodonato said he didn't believe anyone in the group wanted to deny people access to medicine. However, he said people fear that more than just medicinal use will occur under the umbrella of medicine.
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"That's where it gets away from us," Mastrodonato said.
Pivoting to setbacks for commercial grows, the group also found no agreement.
Tarr said a suggested 100-foot setback forces growers into noncompliance. Panelist Rich Johansen said he wanted any garden to physically be closer to the grower's home, not a neighboring building.
"We have to figure out what's good for us as a community," said Mark Schaefer, a member of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance's executive committee.
Pot panelists did find agreement on certain parcel sizes for different grow licenses at their final meeting. A majority decided that specialty commercial cultivation — 5,000 square feet/50 plants — could happen outdoors in general agricultural, exclusive agricultural, residential agricultural and forest zones, if the parcels are at least five acres.
Two license types — specialty and specialty cottage, the latter allowing 500 square feet — could be indoors, if on at least two acres, the panel agreed.
The group, created to craft proposed recommendations for a new grow ordinance, has already found a high level of agreement on other recommendations, according to Iacofano.
Those proposed recommendations, and the discussion on unresolved issues, now proceeds to the supervisors' Jan. 9 meeting for discussion.
Supervisors at that meeting could tweak those recommendations before sending them to county staff, which will write the draft ordinance. Officials have said they wanted an ordinance in place by March, though they have said it appears unlikely they'll meet that deadline.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.