On May 1, the Calaveras County Planning Department released the commercial cannabis draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for public review and comment. The DEIR looks at the impacts of both the regulation of commercial cannabis grows and a ban on commercial cannabis grows. It reports on impacts to aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, water quality, noise and traffic. You can view the DEIR at the Planning Department, at the “Medical Cannabis” tab of the Planning Department website at planning.calaverasgov.us/MedicalCannabis.aspx, or at the Calaveras County Library in San Andreas.
Regardless of whether you support banning or regulating commercial cannabis grows in Calaveras County, if you have questions, this report is one place to look for answers. If, after reviewing the report, you still have questions about the adverse impacts of regulating or banning commercial cannabis grows, you can submit your questions in writing to the Planning Department through June 14. Send your comments by mail to the Planning Department, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA 95249, or by email to PlanningWeb@co.calaveras.ca.us.
The county is obligated to respond in writing to your questions about the adverse impacts of regulation or a ban, about the financial feasibility of impact mitigation and about the county’s past track records regarding the regulation and the banning of cannabis grows.
If you have suggestions for how to reduce the impacts of regulation or a ban, you are welcome to submit those suggestions along with your questions. If the county rejects your suggestion, then the county must explain why in (its) written response to your comments.
The county should take very seriously its obligation to respond to your questions and suggestions. In its unanimous Banning Ranch Conservancy decision last month, the California Supreme Court chastised a city for failing to adequately respond to comments on a DEIR. The court wrote that after citizens raise questions early and often, “The city owed them a reasoned response.”
You deserve one, too.
Tom Infusino, facilitator
Calaveras Planning Coalition