Realtors seek to set record straight on Measure S
The Nevada County Association of Realtors would like to set the record straight. The published ad by Citizens for Fair Laws stating “85% of REALTORS® Support Measure S” constitutes 45 of 53 REALTORS® who responded to a NCAOR poll – a broken survey and poor sampling of less than 8 percent of our 503 REALTOR® membership.
The Association of REALTORS® reviewed the proposed Measure S, addressed the ramifications of such legislation and took a position of “No” on Measure S because the impact of such legislation, if passed, will dramatically change residential neighborhoods and may affect associated home values in Nevada County. The measure addresses zoning and land use, issues that are clearly best addressed through the local ordinance process in which public comment and Board of Supervisors’ approval can affect changes that suit our evolving needs as a community.
The Association of REALTORS® provides the following rationale behind our position: 1) The current Ordinance 2349 already provides for the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes while also enabling local regulation and enforcement to maintain a safe and healthy community environment; 2) Measure S is a poorly written initiative that repeals all language, regulations and enforcement measures delineated in the current Nevada County Ordinance 2349. The Measure is absent of enforcement, appeal and abatement provisions that properly address land use, property rights, nuisance and public safety. As written, Measure S does not provide for the general welfare of our local community; 3) The current Nevada County Ordinance 2349 is a living document that provides for governance and modification as issues arise and local practices evolve while the poorly written measure, once passed, can only be changed through the court system or election process; the process of changing an ordinance to meet the needs of the community allows for a more comprehensive, civil and expeditious process in which the entire community is engaged, educated and collaborating for a more positive and civil outcome.
We are concerned that Measure S protects collectives from civil or criminal prosecution while eliminating any rights and protections currently given to property owners and neighboring citizens under the current laws and Nevada County Ordinance 2349. Measure S increases maximum area allowed for indoor cultivation, eliminates limitations on square footage of growth outdoors and increases the number of plants on R1, R2 and R3. The Measure allows for 24 immature to 18 mature plants on parcels less than 5 acres…99 immature to 60 mature plants on parcels of 30 or more acres in zones RA, AG, AE, FR and TBZ and eliminates prohibition of cultivating in all other zones
Measure S does not properly addresses Property Rights and Values; Landlord rights are affected, eliminating the requirement that a tenant obtain written notarized consent to cultivate from the legal parcel owner thereby placing the owner in a more vulnerable position of liability for what the federal government construes as criminal activity. Use of a rental property for the proposed larger cultivations and eventual vacating of a property by tenants exercising the rights under Measure S could adversely impact neighborhood condition and value. The reduction in minimum distances between cultivation areas and adjacent residences from 1000 to 600 feet creates a greater nuisance factor for neighbors and their ability to enjoy their outside space and exercise their property rights. In addition, the reduction in minimum distances of setbacks between cultivation areas and school bus stops, outdoor living spaces of neighboring residences and elimination of minimum distances in mobile home parks – raises some major concerns.
Additional public safety concerns are the Measure’s absence of 1) restrictions on use and storage of hazardous materials, 2) any regulations re: smell, odor control, noxious gasses, dust, noise, smoke restrictions, elimination of fencing height and security measures to safeguard children and animals;
3) restrictions on lighting and associated glare; 4) restrictions on terracing and 5); provision for law enforcement to respond to community complaints and disturbances
In summary, the Association of REALTORS® supports the current method of governance in place and opposes the passing of “bad” law. If passed, Measure S will create a more litigious environment as lawsuits will be one of the only means by which to address issues created in the absence of regulation or until another ballot measure is passed. In the absence of provisions for local law enforcement and regulations under Measure S , the federal government may likely step in and address all grows, including the small homegrown medicinal. Residents should be reminded that the current Nevada County Ordinance 2349 addresses the issue of improper and nuisance grows while still providing legitimate grows for medical purposes. The ordinance also provides for an appeal process for growers to challenge abatement. Once again, the current Nevada County Ordinance process provides for change as our community evolves through an effective local process.
The Association of REALTORS® asks you to review the current Nevada County Ordinance 2349 and the proposed Measure S so that you can make an informed decision on November 4.
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