A hearing on an appeal of a cannabis cultivation project on Highway 246 west of Buellton was continued April 28 by the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission after they ran out of time at the end of a long meeting.
A representative of the applicant wanted the hearing continued to a date early this month because it is getting well into the growing season, but commissioners unanimously continued the hearing to the June 2 meeting because all the meetings before that are solidly booked.
A group of five residents calling themselves the Drum Canyon Neighbors are appealing the County Planning and Development Department director’s Jan. 29 approval of a land use permit for Sun Valley Ranch LLC to cultivate 40 acres of cannabis outdoors under 12-foot hoop structures.
The operation is proposed on a 348.5-acre parcel on Highway 246 just east of Drum Canyon Road, where access is provided by an existing driveway. Most recently, hay was grown on the property.
In addition to the cannabis crop, the project would include a 120-square-foot guard shack, seven 320-square-foot shipping containers for storing cultivation equipment and fertilizer and 24 “fertigation” tanks of 5,000 gallons each.
The neighbors are basing their appeal on allegations the scope of cultivation is vague and incomplete, the cannabis odor will have impacts on their homes and that both the landscaping plan and the transportation demand management plan are inadequate.
They also claim it fails to comply with provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, is inconsistent with the County Comprehensive Plan and there is a lack of evidence supporting the findings for approval.
The staff is recommending the commission deny the appeal and grant de novo approval of the project.