Lawsuit seeks environmental review of York Mountain weed business

May 3, 2019

By KAREN VELIE

As the full impact of San Luis Obispo County’s increase to 3.5 acres of cannabis cultivation per site wafts over neighborhoods, a law firm is citing state environmental regulations in a suit against the county for its approval of a cannabis cultivation business on York Mountain Road in Templeton. [Cal Coast Times]

Attorneys representing Stephanie Shakofsky and Save York Mountain are asking the court to determine if the county complied with the California Environmental Quality Act when it approved the project. It’s also asking the court to halt the project’s approval until the court has made a determination.

On March 26, the SLO County Board of Supervisors approved weed cultivation and processing on a 77-acre lot west of Templeton. The minor use permit allows applicant Laura Gardner to construct seven 3,060-square-foot greenhouses and two 4,800-square-foot metal buildings.

Prior to the approval, a neighbor appealed the project based on multiple concerns about water, smell, crime, traffic and possible contamination of a creek if the proposed cultivation was permitted to go though. The Board of Supervisors upheld the appeal in part, removing approval of a 3-acre outdoor grow.

The appeal also asked the county to require the project applicant to conduct an EIR. However, the county exempted the project under CEQA section 15303, referring to new construction. Under specific circumstances, there is an exemption for new commercial construction under 2,500 square feet.

According to the suit, “the project, which includes the construction of over 30,000 square feet of nine new, large agricultural and office buildings does not fall within the scope of the categorical exemptions relied upon by respondents.”

In 2017, the California Legislature passed changes to cannabis rules, which gave local governments the power to exempt their own cannabis ordinances from CEQA requirements. But individual businesses are required to abide by the CEQA review process. Before the state will issue a permanent license, businesses are supposed to show the state they are CEQA compliant.


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rockhound1965

So what. So what if you can’t grow pot on the “Central Coast”. Just drive to the opposite side of SLO Co., and grow copious amounts of pot without permits or rules: California Valley. The County is handing out water drilling permits as fast as possible out here (because Cal Valley is well known for their water), so there’s your sign that the County could care less about pot (unless it is literally, in one of the Supervisors back yard). Police and Code Enforcement do nothing-zero-zip-nada. And SLO Co. turns a blind eye.

Hello??


Snoid

Remember when you could simply get ahold of your local dope dealer and pick up a few buds? Now look what you’ve done with your greedy money grubbing asses.


JordanJ

Helios Dayspring and his planner Jamie Jones have made sure the small farmers are run out of biz while the planning department manipulates the rules for Jones and Dayspring. When things are this bad, how do you make it better.


obispan

This could also be a chink in the armor of a long held rule of County Planning. You hire Jamie Jones or Carol Florence and your project has an in with County staff, if you don’t, good luck.


PaulJones

Jamie Kirk-Jones is responsible for a lot of the issues. She is the planner who got staff to overlook the requirement to do CEQA reviews. She has Adam Hill and Lynn Compton in her pocket, so she runs the planning department her way. This is going to cost the county a lot of money.


obispan

California produces 8 times as much “legal’ pot as is legally consumed. 7x the “legal” pot is sold illegally. Can’t we just go back to illegal pot and eliminate the Jeff Lee/Adam Hill/John Shoals payoffs and open corruption? This is worse than when the Mafia controlled pornography and alcohol.


jimmy_me

Someday we’ll laugh at all this. That day is not today.


rukidding

Should have called it wine instead of marijuana. Would have gone right thru as a significant improvement for the North County.


PaulJones

Are you kidding? 30,000 square feet of buildings is like a grocery store on rural land. Wine, or ag, or pot, that large a building requires an EIR. While pot is legal, the laws of California still apply.


rukidding

Just joking. The legalization will become completely over run by it’s illegal activities. Time will tell.