SLO county accused of bypassing environmental laws for pot growers

June 3, 2019

By KAREN VELIE

A citizens group from Nipomo filed a lawsuit last week against San Luis Obispo County over a permit issued to a marijuana cultivator, arguing county officials gave the green light without environmental reviews required by state law. [Cal Coast Times]

In the lawsuit filed in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, Save our Nipomo Neighborhoods and Morgan Holland said the county failed to adequately study the effectiveness of a proposed odor mitigation system planned for the proposed pot grow. The lawsuit contends the county did not lawfully exempt the project from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

“Save Our Nipomo Neighborhoods, whose mission is ‘to preserve and protect the unique environment of our rural community’ hopes that by prevailing in the lawsuit, other such cannabis permit applications – converting floral greenhouses to cannabis cultivation – will be subject to more appropriate environmental review, requiring the county to comply with its own stated directive ‘to protect the public health, safety, and welfare…to protect neighborhood character, and minimize potential for negative impacts on people, communities, and the environment,’ ” the plaintiffs said in a press release.

On April 9, the SLO County Board of Supervisors agreed with planning department staff’s recommendation that the indoor weed cultivation, processing and non-storefront dispensary on a 75-acre site at 1808 Willow Road is exempt from CEQA. The minor use permit allows applicant SLO Cultivation Inc. to utilize 62,600 square-feet of indoor space for their cannabis operation.

Babak Naficy, the attorney for Save Our Nipomo Neighborhoods, is asking the court to require the county to set aside the approval, and to pay for the cost of the lawsuit.

CEQA requires that projects under government review, which have the potential to alter the physical environment of the state, conduct studies to assess potential environmental impacts that might need to be mitigated. CEQA also allows third parties to appeal particular projects they believe have not received sufficient environmental review.

Should the appeal be rejected, as the county did on April 9, these third parties can file lawsuits. If the court determines that the environmental review was insufficient, the project must get further environmental analysis.

Naficy’s petition is the second lawsuit filed against SLO County for exempting marijuana businesses from CEQA requirements.

On April 30, attorneys representing Stephanie Shakofsky and Save York Mountain filed a lawsuit asking the court to halt a proposed weed cultivation and processing business on a 77-acre lot west of Templeton, while the court determines if the project requires additional environmental review.


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nazbol gang

I never thought I would see the day when local government breaks the law for pot growers. Boy how things have turned around


DocT

Environmental laws….zoning laws….other kinds of laws…..regulations…..what’s the purpose of these types of laws?


Well, it’s certainly not to protect the public or enhance our way of life and increase our happiness. Perhaps in a bygone era this was the case, but not today! We all know that.


Laws of this type have a dual purpose:


1. Keep people from doing things–in this case cultivation of an herbaceous, flowering plant

2. to raise revenue.


#2 is what smells so bad, especially with cannabis. Out of town felons are able to “break” these laws and bypass the various regulations because they help local politicians with their money issues. That’s why these rules were put in place. It never had anything to do with fairness, or integrity, or anything like that. Duh.


oldtimer

The Resnicks served literally no restitution for clear cutting old growth virgin land, as in Virgin land without permit. Now they have a building at Cal poly with their name as a tax donation, gave to Wellness Kitchen; served my dad food as he died as a notforprofit, pretty cool, Echo Atascadero. Obviously water rights, land ownership and it’s legalities, neighbors, ecosystem, history, Climate meant nothing, they got off. Billionares, just like Firestone Brewery and their Slave plantation in Liberia, ya, firestone rubber, same family. No one on the BOS cared. Paso has such bad roads, bad PD, crime, homeless, mentally ill, povery, yet billionaires are majority land owners and water owners on Chumash land, right down the damn road, from LA, transfer rich psychos? Ca citizens have no oil or gas rights, now to whine about pot, booze caused women’s rights in USA, and it’s just boycott for misuse, not weed.


MysticOne

It is the cannabis smell that is the problem in Nipomo? Still smells better than what Nipomo normally smells like (cow manure / raw sewage).


kayaknut

Come on, how do you expect government$ to continue their ridiculou$ $alary$, benefit$ pen$ion$, and rai$e$ not to mention payout$ over que$tionable per$onnel i$$ue$ without the money from cannabi$?