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Public hearing canceled as no objections have been filed

A 1-acre commercial cannabis cultivation operation is set to be approved by county planners on Aug. 4 unless any last-minute comments or questions are registered to the Permit Sonoma Director. A public hearing previously scheduled for Aug. 13 has been canceled following a county staff ruling that the project “will not be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of adjacent land uses or properties.”

The outdoor cannabis operation will be located at 6029 Dry Creek Road, on a 59-acre property owned by Steve and Candace Sommer, with a residence and a 15-acre petite sirah vineyard. The original application was reviewed in February 2019 by the Dry Creek Valley Citizens Advisory Council and was temporarily delayed to allow for more neighbor input. Following those conversations, no official objections to the proposal were filed.

The Sommers’ proposal is for the 1-acre outdoor cultivation operation and no on-site processing. It is anticipated to employ two people and limit work hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays with no shipping or traffic on weekends.

Lauren Scott, a contracted associate planner now working for the county’s Permit Sonoma, confirmed the project’s timeline and status in an email. 

“A hearing waiver was initially posted for the project in June but a request for a hearing was received. The request for a hearing was rescinded on July 15, however notices regarding the public hearing had already been posted/published. New notices of a hearing waiver have been posted/published as well as cancelation notices for the BZA hearing. If no requests for a hearing are received then the project would be administratively approved on August 5, 2020,” she confirmed.

The county’s approval would be for a 5-year limited-term Use Permit allowed under county outdoor cannabis cultivation rules adopted in recent years following California voters’ approval of Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Prop. 64) in 2016. Commercial cannabis cultivation operations are allowed on 10-acre minimum properties with a series of agricultural zonings (LIA, LEA or DA) and RRD (Resources and Rural Development.)

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