The county’s hemp ordinance breaks from its own municipal code – New Times SLO

The county's hemp ordinance breaks from its own municipal code - New Times SLO

This letter is to address the Board of Supervisors hearing regarding permitting industrial hemp to be grown in San Luis Obispo County.

The actions taken by the board majority is a violation of property rights. The excerpt below came from Chapter 5.16—Agricultural Lands, Operations, and the Right to Farm of the SLO County municipal code:

“If your property is near an agricultural operation in the unincorporated area of the county, which satisfies the above requirements, you may at times be subject to one or more inconveniences and/or discomfort arising from that operation. Such inconveniences may include (depending upon the type of agricultural operation protected), but are not necessarily limted to, the following: noise, odors, fumes, dust, legal pesticie use, fertilizers, smoke, insects, farm personnel and truck traffic, visual impacts, nighttime lighting, operation of machinery and the storage, warehousing and processing of agricultural products, or other inconveniences or discomforts associated with the protected agricultural operations. For additional information pertaining to this disclosure and the Right to Farm Ordinace, or concerns with an agricultural operation, please contact the San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.”

The Board of Supervisors majority broke the law by not adhering to the municipal code.

The Board of Supervisors majority broke the law to use an “urgency ordinance” illegally. The urgency ordinance is only available for use if there is an imminent threat to public health and safety.

The rules that the Board of Supervisors are putting on the permitting of industrial hemp are against the law and are a taking of property rights for famers that have less than 400 acres of growable land or do not meet the giant setbacks from the other ag-zoned property.

Other counties have established rules that do not violate the property rights of small farms. Second District Supervisor Bruce Gibson is the only member of the board who understands the needs of small farms and stands to support them.

Lastly, the possibility of legal action against the county is real. The Board of Supervisors needs to change county rules to benefit all farmers and not just wineries.

Conner Luckey

San Luis Obispo County

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