Nevada County releases draft marijuana ordinance recommendations; citizen’s meeting on Dec. 19
Draft recommendations developed by a citizen’s group for a new Nevada County marijuana ordinance call for allowing personal outdoor grows in single-family zones, commercial grows of up to 10,000 square feet in certain zones and brick-and-mortar dispensaries in limited commercial areas.
The draft recommendations, released Friday, set the stage for a 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, discussion of the community advisory group — the citizen’s panel that developed the recommendations. Panelists will review their recommendations before they advance to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors at its Jan. 9 meeting.
County staff will use recommendations approved by supervisors to craft the new cannabis ordinance, which likely won’t be prepared until spring.
The recommendations call for allowing outdoor grows of up to three plants for personal use in single-family and residential agriculture zones, if the parcel is under an acre. Up to six plants would be allowed if the parcel is larger than an acre.
Plants must be at least 30 feet from the property line and not visible by neighbors.
The state allows property owners up to six indoor plants. Local governments can regulate those plants, but can’t outright forbid them.
Under the draft recommendations commercial cultivation could occur in specific zones, if parcel size and permitting requirements are met.
Specialty cottage — 25 plants outdoors or 500 square feet indoors — and specialty — 5,000 square feet/50 plants outdoors or 501 to 5,000 square feet indoors — commercial grows could occur in general agriculture, exclusive agriculture, forest, timberland preserve and residential agriculture zones.
Small grows — 5,001 to 10,000 square feet indoors and outdoors — could be in the same zones.
Outdoor specialty cottage grows must be on at least two acres. Outdoor specialty and small grows must have at least five acres.
No grows over 10,000 square feet would be allowed.
Commercial growers must have state licenses to legally operate.
The draft recommendations would also allow certain cannabis-related businesses.
Brick-and-mortar dispensaries and delivery services could occur with conditional use permits in community commercial and commercial highway zones.
All cannabis-related activity must have a 600-foot setback from the property line of any active school, park, child care center or youth-oriented facility.
Concerning medicinal marijuana, a primary caregiver could support up to five qualified patients. Up to 20 plants and a 500-square-foot grow area per qualified patient would be permitted, and no state license required. They would follow the same land-use and zoning requirements as commercial grows.
The recommendations also call for a grace period until March 1, 2020, which would give people time to become compliant with the new ordinance.
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Thirty-two percent of cannabis complaints couldn’t be confirmed in Nevada County because of locked gates, fences and other visual obstructions.