Mary Carol: What is being locked in by Measure W? | TheUnion.com
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Mary Carol: What is being locked in by Measure W?

What is being locked in by Measure W?

A. Pot can be grown in R-1, R-2 and R-3 zones, i.e., rural residential, which includes Alta Sierra, Lake of the Pines and Lake Wildwood.

B. Pot must be grown indoors — unseen — with lights, which can be a serious fire hazard.



C. An indoor grow could legally be in your neighbor’s garage or permitted outbuilding.

Ever face a fire coming straight toward your house, fast? Lake of the Pines, Alta Sierra and Lake Wildwood, once again, you must realize that pot is going to be “locked in” to being allowed, legally, to be grown in garages and outbuildings in your neighborhood — if Measure W is passed by the voters. Did your neighborhood associations tell you that?

D. Pot grown outdoors, under the sun, is prohibited.




E. All of the above.

Notice, please, these two key words: “locked in.” Anything voted in by voters can only be voted out by voters. That means another ballot measure and all the costs associated with it, both financial and social. Do we really want to go through this again?

Right now Nevada County has an ordinance that does all of the above, only it is not “locked in” by voters. If you disagree with any of these parts of the ballot measure, which I believe most would — whether they support pot or not — you will vote No on W (or perhaps, since voting has begun, regret not having done so).

Voting No on W reserves your right to seek changes to the ordinance by going to the Board of Supervisors — instead of having to accept the changes or start another ballot initiative.

For example, if you live Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, or Alta Sierra, you might not be comfortable with the possibility of a neighbor growing pot in his garage, even if they are a 100 feet away from your home (as required under the current ordinance).

For one, you might not appreciate having a potential fire hazard so close. Secondly, you might fear local teenagers will find out about the grow and be intrigued enough to — uh, let’s say — explore the garage. And three, you might not like the smell, which, with an indoor grow vented outdoors, could now be year-round.

The one thing I keep wondering is why aren’t more people shouting “Fire!”? Meaning, the real thing. The most fire talk I’ve heard about is as in “fire the Board of Supervisors, fire the sheriff, and fire the county counsel.” But that’s another issue.

Back in Sept. 2014, I barely missed being evacuated from my home of 20-plus years in the South County because of a raging fire. The fire, according to neighbors, started in a garage caused by the combustion of some oily rags. While I was lucky, Alta Sierra was threatened and hundreds of people evacuated. Two homes were lost, and more than 150 acres scorched.

Ever face a fire coming straight toward your house, fast? Lake of the Pines, Alta Sierra and Lake Wildwood, once again, you must realize that pot is going to be “locked in” to being allowed, legally, to be grown in garages and outbuildings in your neighborhood — if Measure W is passed by the voters. Did your neighborhood associations tell you that?

This idea of forcing all pot grows indoors is insane. Indoor grows should only be conducted by experienced growers in inspected and monitored structures — that is, permitted, licensed and regulated.

All sorts of folks who have planted a mere one-half to two dozen plants a year on their Ag-zoned acreage will now, most likely, try to move their grows indoors. But few are experts on this highly technical way of growing, let alone the ins and outs of setting up electrical systems (perhaps this is the county’s way of creating more “high tech jobs” to attract “millennials?”). Personally, I don’t think many folks are going to stick to the county’s current limit of 1,200 watts for grow lights, total, per indoor garden. It just doesn’t work. And who is to know what is being utilized when it is indoors, out of sight?

Locked into this ballot measure is certainly a fire hazard, and that is something we all can agree on. In fact, Richard Harris, (a long-time insurance broker and a former District 2 volunteer fireman), who is running for supervisor in District 2, says fire risk is a major consideration to companies when setting the cost of — or even offering — home owners insurance.

W needs to be stopped. W locks in some serious mistakes which are evidence of the supervisors’ haste in making the decision to put the measure on the ballot.

Oh yeah, the quiz. I almost forgot. Yes, the answer is “E.” E for everything, because all of the statements listed in the quiz — fire hazards, pot in neighborhoods, etc. — are true. They are “locked in.” W is certainly not an answer. W is wrong.

Mary Carol lives in Grass Valley.


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