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Planning Commission Votes On Overlays, Gjerde Talks ADUs

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Outdoor pot plants in Mendocino County

Oct 19, 2018 — Cannabis and housing are among the top planning issues for the Mendocino County Planning Commission. We’ll talk about both today, in a wrap-up of a recent Planning Commission meeting and a conversation with Supervisor Dan Gjerde about new rules regarding Additional Dwelling Units, or ADUs.

On Thursday, Octoboer 18, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the board of supervisors approve overlay zones, or zoning exceptions to the cannabis cultivation ordinance. If the board approves, Laytonville, South Leggett, and two areas in Covelo would become cannabis accommodation districts. That means growers would be allowed to continue growing on small residential parcels after 2020, when the sunset provision kicks in. The thousand-foot setback from schools would remain, though other setbacks would be reduced to 20 feet. And growers could apply for a permit to reduce the 20-foot setback even further. Two proposed cannabis accommodation districts in Mitchell Creek would continue to be regulated under standard zoning, which means growers will be subject to the sunset. And growers in Deerwood and the Boonville/Wooodyglenn district would have to wind down operations in three years, even those who have made significant investments in their property and have permits.

The Board of Supervisors will decide if they accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation. One of those board members is Supervisor Dan Gjerde, who has long been a proponent of second, or additional dwelling units as a way to ease the county’s crisis in affordable housing. I sat down with him to talk about an upcoming workshop on how property owners can make the most of new state and county rules allowing a third small unit.That workshop will be next Thursday Oct 25 at 5:30 at Fort Bragg town hall. It will be livestreamed on Channel 3, accessible through the City of Fort Bragg website. A longer version of our interview is available elsewhere on this website.