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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
County

El Dorado County
Measure P - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

50,475 votes yes (60.54%)

32,896 votes no (39.46%)

100% of precincts reporting (166/166).

90,730 ballots counted.

Cannabis Cultivation
— undefined

Shall the measure allowing for outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) commercial cannabis cultivation for medicinal use on parcels of at least 10 acres zoned Rural Lands, Planned Agricultural, Limited Agricultural, and Agricultural Grazing that are restricted in canopy size, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax, and subject to a site-specific review and discretionary permitting process with notification to surrounding property owners and environmental regulation be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “yes” vote is to allow limited and regulated outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) cultivation of commercial cannabis for medicinal use on parcels zoned Rural Lands, Planned Agricultural, Limited Agricultural, and Agricultural Grazing.

NO vote means

A “no” vote is to not allow outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) cultivation of commercial cannabis for medicinal use in the unincorporated areas of El Dorado County and to maintain the status quo.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

County Counsel

IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE P MEASURE PROVIDING FOR AUTHORIZATION AND REGULATION OF COMMERCIAL OUTDOOR AND MIXED-LIGHT CULTIVATION OF CANNABIS FOR MEDICINAL USE State law legalized commercial cannabis activities within the state, but allows each local government to decide whether to authorize any commercial cannabis activity within its jurisdiction. The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted to place Measure P on the ballot to allow the citizens of the County to decide whether to authorize outdoor and mixed-light commercial cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use within the unincorporated areas of the County. Mixed-light is cultivation in a greenhouse, hoop-house, or other similar structure. The only difference between Measures P and Q is that Measure P applies to medicinal use cannabis and Measure Q applies to recreational use of cannabis by adults over the age of twenty-one. 

If approved by a majority of the voters voting thereon, Measure P would enact El Dorado County Code Section 130.14.300. The ordinance could become effective only if Measure N passes, which provides for taxation of any authorized commercial cannabis activity and a County regulatory and enforcement program. Passage of Measure P would not affect Section 130.14.260, which allows for the limited outdoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis for personal use.

Measure P would eliminate the County’s two-year ban on commercial cannabis activities for the uses authorized in Measure P. Neither state law nor the passage of Measure P could legally affect the federal government ’s current criminalization of cannabis. 

Measure P would only allow outdoor or mixed-light cultivation on parcels of at least 10 acres zoned Rural Lands, Planned Agricultural, Limited Agricultural, and Agricultural Grazing. Rural Lands would be restricted to a maximum of 10,000 square feet of canopy. For agricultural zones, the canopy is restricted based on the lot size with the largest canopy reaching a potential maximum of 2 acres on a parcel greater than 25 acres. Measure P limits the total number of cultivation operations in the unincorporated areas of the County to 150 regardless of whether the operations are outdoor, mixed-light, or indoor or for medicinal or recreational adult use cannabis. Of the 150 total cultivation permits, 75 are reserved for outdoor or mixed-light grows of 10,000 square feet or less and 40 of those 75 are reserved for organic outdoor grows of 3,000 square feet or less. 

If Measure P passes, a person could cultivate commercial cannabis for medicinal use only after obtaining a permit from the County, which requires a background check reviewed by the Sheriff’s Office, site-specific environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act, odor reduction requirements, setbacks, screening of the plants from public view, a legal water source, security procedures, and other regulations to protect public health and safety and the environment. A permit also requires the recommendation of the Agricultural Commission and a hearing before the Planning Commission. Adjacent property owners and Placerville or South Lake Tahoe if the site is within a one-half mile radius of either city would be notified before the Planning Commission hearing. Compliance would be enforced through the civil administrative procedures and fines provided for in Measure N and could result in revocation of a permit. 

A “yes” vote is to allow limited and regulated outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) cultivation of commercial cannabis for medicinal use on parcels zoned Rural Lands, Planned Agricultural, Limited Agricultural, and Agricultural Grazing. 

A “no” vote is to not allow outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) cultivation of commercial cannabis for medicinal use in the unincorporated areas of El Dorado County and to maintain the status quo.  Michael J. Ciccozzi, El Dorado County, County Counsel

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE P This measure was placed on the ballot by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors after many meetings with community stakeholders.  VOTE YES ON MEASURE P. Measure N and Measures P,Q,R and S must all pass together to provide the county with the money necessary to build a new stronger enforcement program targeting illicit market cannabis.  This measure will authorize the County to permit no more than 150 cannabis cultivation operations.

The extensive permit requirements, imposed by this measure, will prevent many cannabis cultivation problems. Permitted operations must comply with several hundred pages of state regulations, provide 24/7 video surveillance, security fencing, and extensive environmental protection review and compl iance. Operations must obtain permits through Conditional Use Permits hearings and approval of the Planning Commission. Only parcels zoned rural lands or agriculture over 10 acres are eligible for permits.

No commercial cultivation will occur near residential zoned parcels. With the implementation of Proposition 64, El Dorado County patients have not had access to the medical cannabis from El Dorado County. 

Patients Deserve High Quality El Dorado County Grown Medicine. These permits will generate new county revenue from sales through legal retail dispensaries. The estimated revenue from all the measures passed by the voters N,P,Q,R and S is $1,900,000 to $52,800,000. In addition to new county enforcement resources, if the Board of Supervisors chooses to appropriate the money the new money can be used for road repair, law enforcement, First Five, youth trauma prevention, mental health services, veterans programs and substance abuse education. 

VOTE YES ON MEASEURE P for SAFER COMMUNITIES. 

Vote YES for Regulated El Dorado County Commercial Medical Cultivation. 

Yesonnpqrs.org 

Rod Miller, Treasurer, Committee Supporting El Dorado County Measures N, P, Q, R & S

Heather Schafer, Legal Assistant, The Law Office of Dale Schafer

Bill Prosser, Owner, Winterfalls Ranch

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE AUTHORIZATION AND REGULATION OF COMMERCIAL OUTDOOR AND MIXED-LIGHT CULTIVATION OF CANNABIS FOR MEDICINAL USE THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTY OF EL DORADO DO ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 130.14.300 of Title 130, Article 9 of the El Dorado County Ordinance Code entitled “Outdoor and Mixed-Light Cultivation of Medicinal Use Cannabis” is hereby enacted to read as follows: ARTICLE 9 – MISCELLANEOUS CHAPTER 130.14 – CANNABIS Sec. 130.14.300 – Outdoor and Mixed-Light Cultivation of Medicinal Use Cannabis

1. Applicability.

A. The purpose of this ordinance is to permit certain specified commercial cannabis activities and uses in the unincorporated areas of the County, subject to the regulation and control of the Board of Supervisors. While this ordinance was enacted by voters, the Board of Supervisors retains discretion to regulate such uses, including without limitation the density, intensity, number, proximity, location, and environmental standards of such uses without further voter approval.

B. Cannabis is not an agricultural crop or product with respect to the “right to farm” ordinance in Section 130.40.290, the establishments of Agricultural Preserves under Section 130.40.290, or any other provision in this Code that defines or allows cultivation of crops or agricultural products and nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to the contrary.

2. Definitions. The terms and phrases in this section shall have the meaning ascribed to them in Section 130.14.290(2), unless the context in which they are used clearly suggests otherwise.

3. Limit on the number of commercial cannabis operations. The maximum number of commercial cannabis cultivation operations in the unincorporated portions of the County shall be limited to 150. A minimum of 75 of the total 150 cannabis cultivation operations are reserved for outdoor or mixed-light cultivation operations that are less than 10,000 square feet in total canopy area, with 40 of the 75 reserved for operations limited to cultivation canopy of 3,000 square feet or less and cannabis that is grown exclusively with natural light and meets organic certification standards or the substantial equivalent. This section sets the maximum possible permits only and nothing in this section shall be construed to require the County to issue a minimum or the maximum number of permits.

4. Outdoor and Mixed Light Commercial Cannabis Cultivation.

A. Permitted Zones. Outdoor or mixed-light commercial cannabis cultivation may only be permitted in the Rural Lands (RL), Planned Agricultural (PA), Limited Agricultural (LA), and Agricultural Grazing (AG) zoned districts subject to a Commercial Cannabis Use Permit and Commercial Cannabis Annual Operating Permit under Section 130.14.290. This section allows outdoor or mixed-light commercial cannabis cultivation as a new use authorized by this section only. Uses listed in Section 130.21.020 (Agricultural, Rural Lands and Resource Zone Districts Use Matrix) do not permit cannabis operations.

B. Minimum Site Area. Outdoor or mixed-light cultivation of commercial cannabis is limited to sites that meet the minimum premises area of 10 acres. The County may require a premises greater than 10 acres to maintain consistency with other laws, surrounding residential uses, and neighborhood compatibility.

C. Canopy Coverage. Outdoor or mixed-light commercial cannabis cultivation is subject to the following limits on maximum canopy based on zone district. The County may place additional and further restrictions on canopy size to maintain consistency with other laws, agricultural uses, and neighborhood compatibility. A cannabis cultivation operation shall not exceed the canopy size threshold established by State law.

1. Lots zoned RL: up to 1.5 percent of the size of the premises with a maximum of 1 outdoor or mixed-light cultivation operation per premises, but not to exceed 10,000 square feet of total canopy coverage for that premises.

2. Lots zoned AG, LA, and PA with a premises between 10 and 14.9 acres in area: up to 1.5 percent of the size of the premises per outdoor or mixed-light cultivation operation with a maximum of 2 outdoor or mixed-light cultivation operations, but not to exceed 0.45 acres of total canopy coverage for that premises.

3. Lots zoned AG, LA, and PA with a premises between 15 and 25 acres in area: up to 2 percent of the size of the premises per outdoor or mixed-light cultivation operation with a maximum of 4 outdoor or mixed-light cultivation operations, but not to exceed 1.5 acres of total canopy coverage for that premises.

4. Lots zoned AG, LA, and PA with a premises greater than 25 acres: up to 5 percent of the size of the premises per outdoor or mixedlight cultivation operation with a maximum of 6 outdoor or mixed-light cultivation operations, but not to exceed 2 acres of total canopy coverage for that premises.

5. Cultivation Standards.

A. In addition to any state requirements by any governing state agency and any site specific requirements in a permit, outdoor or mixed-light cultivation of commercial cannabis shall comply with the following requirements. Any violation of state regulations, site specific requirements in a Commercial Cannabis Use Permit and Commercial Cannabis Annual Operating Permit, or these requirements is subject to enforcement, abatement, and revocation of a County permit under Section 130.14.290.

B. Location. Outdoor or mixed-light commercial cannabis cultivation shall not be located within 1,500 feet from any school, school bus stop, place of worship, park, playground child care center, youth-oriented facility, pre-school, licensed drug or alcohol recovery facility, or licensed sober living facility. Distance shall be measured from the nearest point of the property line of the premises that contains the commercial cultivation to the nearest point of the property line of the enumerated use using a direct straight-line measurement. A new adjacent use does not affect the continuation of an existing use that was permitted and legally established under the standards of this chapter.

C. Setbacks. Outdoor or mixed-light cultivation of commercial cannabis shall be setback a minimum of 800 feet from the property line of the site or public right-of-way and shall be located at least 300 feet from the upland extent of riparian vegetation of any watercourse.

D. Odor. The cultivating, drying, curing, processing, and storing of cannabis shall not adversely affect the health, safety, or enjoyment of property of persons residing near the property on which cannabis is cultivated due to odor that is disturbing to people of normal sensitivity. Any cannabis odor shall not be equal or greater than a 7 dilution threshold (“DT”) when measured by the County with a field olfactometer at the property line on which the cannabis is cultivated for a minimum of two olfactometer observations not less than fifteen minutes apart within a one hour period (“7 DT one hour”). If the odor from cannabis cultivating, drying, curing, processing, or storing violates this subsection, the permittee must reduce the odor below the 7 DT one hour at property line threshold within the time required by the County. Notwithstanding the prior issuance of a permit, the County may require installation of one or more odor control options, which may include but are not limited to the use of a greenhouse or hoop house that includes activated carbon filtration or equivalent odor abatement control equipment on the air exhaust, a vapor-phase odor control system, increasing the required setback, growing fewer plants, or growing only low odor cannabis strains. Installation of certain odor control options may require a permit. Any such notice requiring the use of one or more odor control options will provide a deadline for completion and the dilution threshold will be retested upon expiration of that deadline. The continued odor in excess of 7 DT one hour upon retesting will constitute a violation of this section subject to enforcement, abatement, and revocation of a Commercial Cannabis Use Permit and Commercial Cannabis Annual Operating Permit under section 130.14.290.

E. Water Source. Commercial cannabis cultivation may only be permitted if sufficient evidence submitted to the County demonstrates: (1) there is adequate water supply in the watershed and water rights to serve the cultivation site; and (2) all required state permits from the State Water Resources Control Board and any other state agency with jurisdiction. Cultivation of cannabis shall not utilize water that has been or is illegally diverted from any spring, wetland, stream, creek, river, lake, unpermitted well, or body of water. The activities associated with the cultivation of cannabis shall not create erosion or result in contaminated runoff into any spring, wetland, stream, creek, river, lake, or body of water.

F. Water conservation measures. Cannabis cultivation operations shall include adequate measures that minimize the use of water for cultivation at the site. Water conservation measures, including but not limited to underground drip irrigation, soil moisture monitoring, water capture systems, grey water systems, or other equally effective water conservation measures, shall be incorporated into the cultivationoperations in order to minimize the use of water where feasible.

G. Screening. Cannabis shall be screened from public view so that no part of a plant can be seen from an adjacent street or adjacent parcel. Screening shall be accomplished by use of a greenhouse or hoop house or by fencing or vegetation. All greenhouses, hoop houses, and fences shall comply with all building and zoning codes and any other applicable law or regulation. Greenhouses and hoop houses are the preferred means of screening.

H. Security and wildlife exclusionary fencing. Areas where cannabis is cultivated, the premises on which cannabis is cultivated, or a portion thereof that includes the cultivation area shall be secured by a minimum six-foot high solid wood or chain link wildlife exclusionary fence, such as cyclone or field game fencing, with locked gates built in compliance with building and zoning codes. All gates shall be lockable and remain locked at all times except to provide immediate entry and exit. A chain link fence is not sufficient for screening. Fencing may not be covered with plastic or cloth except that shade cloth may be used on the inside of the fence.

I. CEQA. As part of the environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act, the applicant must show that there is no other environmentally superior cultivation site located on the same premises; the location and operation of the cannabis cultivation site will, to the maximum extent feasible, avoid or minimize its impact on environmentally sensitive areas including but not limited to oak woodland and other natural conditions or habitats.

J. Renewable energy. Electrical power for mixed-light cultivation operations, including but not limited to illumination, heating, cooling, and ventilation, shall be provided by on-grid power with 100% renewable source, on-site zero net energy renewable source, or with purchase of carbon offsets of any portion of power not from renewable sources. Generators may be used as a secondary or back-up power source pursuant to a valid permit from the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District. Impacts from generator use will also be considered in the CEQA analysis and site specific restrictions and conditions may be imposed to mitigate those impacts, including conditions to minimize noise.

K. Lighting. All lights used for mixed-light cultivation shall be fully contained within structures or otherwise shielded to fully contain any light or glare involved in the cultivation process. Artificial lighting for mixed-light cultivation is limited to a rate of six watts per square foot or less. For outdoor and mixed-light commercial cannabis cultivation, security lighting shall be motion activated and all outdoor lighting shall comply with Chapter 130.34.

L. Pesticide Usage. Preference shall be given to applicants that maintain organic certification standards or the substantial equivalent, provided that maintaining organic certification standards or the substantial equivalent is a condition of the Commercial Cannabis Annual Operating Permit. Until the California Department of Food and Agriculture adopts a certified organic certification, the County Agricultural Commissioner shall determine whether a particular operation satisfies substantially equivalent organic criteria. Documentation of all pesticides used shall be presented each year as part of the Commercial Cannabis Annual Operating Permit. All pesticides and fertilizers shall be properly labeled and stored and disposed of to avoid contamination through erosion, leakage, or inadvertent damages from rodents, pests, and wildlife and to prevent harm to persons, the environment, and wildlife.

M. Disposal of waste material. Cannabis waste material shall be disposed of in accordance with existing state and local laws and regulations at the time of disposal. Burning of cannabis waste material is prohibited.

N. Public Sewer or Sewage Disposal System. The premises where the cultivation of cannabis takes place shall either be connected to a public sewer system or have a County inspected and approved sewage disposal system.

O. Recommendation of the Agricultural Commission. An application for a Commercial Cannabis Use Permit for outdoor or mixed-light cultivation must be reviewed by the Agricultural Commission and the recommendation of the Agricultural Commission, including any suggested conditions or restrictions, shall be considered by the Planning Commission.

6. Ordinance Declarative of Existing Law. Chapter 130.20 of the El Dorado County Zoning Ordinance provides that only uses specifically enumerated are permitted and, unless an exemption applies, any unenumerated use is not allowed within the County. Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to legalize any existing commercial cannabis activity currently operating in the County, whether it is operating with or without a business license.

7. Severability. If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter or any part thereof is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, invalid, or ineffective by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity or effectiveness of the remaining portions of this chapter or any part thereof. The Board of Supervisors hereby declares that it would have passed each section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter irrespective of whether one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, or phrases is held invalid or ineffective.

8. Effective Date. If enacted by a majority of the electorate voting in the election on the measure, this Chapter is effective 30 days after independent ordinances are enacted by the voters of El Dorado County providing for (1) a general or special tax on all of the commercial cannabis authorized herein; and  (2) discretionary permitting and enforcement procedures to regulate the commercial cannabis activities authorized herein. If such general or special tax is passed but is challenged or invalidated for any reason, this ordinance does not become effective unless and until the challenge concludes and the tax is upheld as valid. If the general or special tax is challenged for any reason after this ordinance becomes effective and the tax is repealed or invalidated, this ordinance shall automatically expire and be repealed.  Section 2. Section 130.14.270(2) of Title 130, Article 9 of the El Dorado County Ordinance Code entitled “Commercial Cannabis Activities” is hereby amended to read as follows: 2. Imposition of Moratorium on Commercial Cannabis Activities.

A. Pursuant to Government Code section 65858, subdivision (b), and with the exception of any existing medical cannabis distribution facilities that satisfy all of the requirements of section 130.14.250(2)(D) of the El Dorado County Code and any commercial cannabis activity expressly authorized under County Code and operating pursuant to a valid County permit, the establishment or operation of any commercial cannabis activity is prohibited in the unincorporated areas of the County and no use permit, variance, building permit, or any other applicable entitlement for use, including but not limited to the issuance of a business license, shall be approved or issued for the establishment or operation of a commercial cannabis activity for a period of two years from December 12, 2017. B. With the exception of any existing medical cannabis distribution facilities that satisfy all of the requirements of section 130.14.250(2)(D) of the El Dorado County Code and any commercial cannabis activity expressly authorized under County Code and operating pursuant to a valid County permit, a facility engaged in a commercial cannabis activity shall not be established, operated, or maintained at any location in any zone district in the unincorporated areas of the County, even if the facility engaged in a commercial cannabis activity is located within or operated with one or more additional otherwise permitted use(s), including but not limited to a health food store, bakery, tobacco shop, retail store, health education facility, health spa, fitness facility, wellness center, or health facility.

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