Dry Creek Valley Store

Approved Minutes for May 16, 2019

  1. Call to Order
    Chairperson Jenny Gomez called to order the regular meeting of the Dry Creek Valley Citizens Advisory Council at 6:03 pm.
  2. Introduction of Councilmembers and
    Roll Call

    Present Councilmembers:  Jenny Gomez, Bill Smith, Vicky Farrow, and Bengt Akerlind.  Councilmember Ruth Wilson was absent.
  3. Swearing in of New Councilmember
    Jennifer Mendoza, of Supervisor James Gore’s office, swore in new councilmember, Bengt Akerlind, who will replace Mike Tierney for the remainder of his term.
  4. Approval of Minutes
    On a motion by Councilmember Bill Smith, seconded by Councilmember Vicky Farrow, the February 21, 2019, Dry Creek Valley Citizens Advisory Council meeting minutes were approved.  The motion carried on a voice vote, (4-0).
  5. Public Comments on Non-Agenda Items -
    Steve Imbibo—5356 Mill Creek Road, Healdsburg—spoke representing the Palmer Creek Neighbors.  He commented on applications in their area.  He mentioned he works with Tennis Wick on cannabis applications in the area.
    William M Fumich, Jr.—3450 Westside Road, Healdsburg—identified himself as a past president of Westside Community Association.  He had a Point of Order regarding the Agenda Discussion Item regarding a “potential Westside CAC”. He believed the discussion of the CAC is beyond the Scope of Authority of the DCVCAC according to our Blue Book.
    Jean Hegland—5450 Mill Creek Road, Healdsburg—Told the group she lives in Palmer Creek and came to see how the council works.  She mentioned that neighbors had not heard of the DCVCAC.  She stated that all members of the community were concerned that we could approve the referral (UPC18-0046_6699 Palmer Creek Road_Planson) and mentioned they first hear of it in the newspaper article (Healdsburg Tribune).
    Tony Prussiamerritt—5280 Mill Creek Road, Healdsburg—stated that he is a Palmer Creek resident and concurs with the other residents.  He believes the area is environmentally sensitive.  He expressed his concern about cannabis crops in their area.
    Douglas Fisher—5450 Mill Creek Road, Healdsburg—also lives on Palmer Creek Road.  He commented on the DCVCAC.  He believes the interests of Dry Creek Valley are different than those of the Mill Creek/Palmer Creek area.  He does not believe his neighbors wish to have industry in their area.  They do not want the cannabis industry in their area.  He does not believe we have the right to represent or speak for the residents of their area.
    Cecile Isaacs—12888 Cloud Ridge Road, Healdsburg—stated that she was in attendance to ask some questions and make a suggestion.  She stated she was on the Board of the Westside Community Association, and they have been working with the county to coordinate event policy, as they would like to have one specifically for their area.  Right now, the DCVCAC covers their area.  They would like to split out of the DCVCAC area, and be administered by PRMD and the County.  In regard to communications, she hopes that we work similar to Berkeley, where each member goes and looks at the property and reads the file, and then comes to a conclusion based on their own experience.  She mentioned the problem regarding a cannabis grow that was recently approved.  She believes that if council had seen the property, they would not have approved that referral.
    Nancy Citro—4160 Westside Road, Healdsburg—stated she is a former president of the Westside Community Association.  She was also concerned about our discussion item regarding a potential Westside CAC.  She wanted to share a history lesson on the Association.  She informed the Council that they were founded in the mid-60s by residents in Westside/Mill Creek.  They were incorporated in 1964, and hold their annual meeting in January.  Neighbors actively participate.  Boundaries of their area were formed by the Westside School District, and they are united by the school.
  6. Correspondence - none
  7. Councilmember Announcements and Disclosures:  - None
    Referrals from PRMD ‐
    Referrals from Sonoma County PRMD
    File Number: UPD18-0053
    Applicant Name: Steven Sommer
    Owner Name: Steven and Candace Sommer
    Site Address: 6029 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
    APN: 090-240-022
    Project Description: Request for a Use Permit a medium outdoor cannabis cultivation operation (10,001-43,560 square feet) to occur on a 59.55-acre parcel zoned LIA B6 20Z RC50/50 SR.  There are 3 existing single-family homes on the parcel and 16-acres of vineyards.
    Secretary, Sharon Pillsbury, relayed that she had an email from the owner’s representative Jake McKee, stating they had not yet met with all neighbors.  He did not respond to a request for confirmation on whether they would attend this meeting.
    The following referral was withdrawn by the applicants per and email from owner, Wayne Rogers, after the Agenda was set.
    The following referral was withdrawn by the applicants per an email from Wayne Rogers.
    File Number: LLA19-0007
    Applicant Name: Wayne and Pauline Rogers
    Owner Name: Wayne and Pauline Rogers
    Site Address: 2329 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
    APN: 089-200-018
    Project Description: Request for a Lot Line Adjustment between two parcels, 5.04 acres (Lot A) and 13.48 acres (Lot B) resulting in two parcels, 12.47 acres (Lot A) in size and 6.07 acres (Lot B in size; these parcels contain Administrative Certificate of Compliance parcels involving 18.52 acres.
  8. Questions from Council
    As there was no one present from either referral, there was no discussion or action taken.
  9. Discussion Items
    Discussion of potential Westside CAC—
    Councilmember Vicky Farrow—clarified for those present that our proposed discussion was not whether there should be a Westside CAC or not.  Our council wanted to discuss it, as it would involve changing the DCVCAC boundaries.  She asked how and when we should discuss the issue, and mentioned she had spoken with Fred Corson about boundary issues.  She clarified that we will seek guidance from the county before having a full discussion of this item.
    Discussion of Cannabis referral process and communication—
    Council Chair Jenny Gomez—mentioned there had been a breakdown in the communication process.  She stressed for the audience that we are here to listen.  We give recommendations only.  We are given information from the county and applicants and act on the information we are given.  We are new to hearing cannabis referrals.  The council was not aware at the time of the hearing regarding the Planson (UPC18-0046) referral that we did not have all of the information on that referral.
    Councilmember Vicky Farrow—stated that most of the Council’s previous referrals have been regarding the wine industry.  There are issues with the process the county uses and the Council’s involvement and that process are a bit out of synch.  She agrees we need to make sure notifications go out before we hear a referral.  If the community does not know about referrals and our meetings, we cannot do our job.
    Councilmember Bill Smith—believes that the County and Supervisor Gore’s office should take a greater role in notifying neighbors.  He quoted the Jennifer Mendoza letter that stated that the council was not aware of the work that the Palmer Creek neighbors had done on the Planson referral and, therefore, was not able to act on that information.  The County website said the application was deemed complete.
    Council Chair Jenny Gomez—addressed the looseness of the process.  We tell people they need to reach out to their neighbors.  If they have not done that, we would then postpone hearing the referral.  The whole purpose of our process is to hear the pros and cons from all the neighbors.  We are your neighbors.  We live here.  Cannabis is new.  Some problems are similar (to wine industry referrals) and some are not: Smell, noise, traffic.  She wants the Council to work more harmoniously with PRMD, Gore’s office, and the Community.
    Councilmember Vicky Farrow—mentioned that Agendas are posted, and that we maintain a mailing list for interested members of the public.  She stressed there are ways to be notified.
    Councilmember Bengt Akerlind—stated that the county will contact the neighbors.
    Vicky—believes this contact is not always made before applicants come before our council.  We need to fix that. 
    Council Chair Jenny Gomez—emphasized that cannabis does have different issues.  The more we hear the complaints of the neighbors, the more comfortable we will be in acting on these referrals.  We are still learning.  She mentioned the 1-acre limit, and issues with when the crop is harvested, transportation, etc.
    Steve Imbibo—asked if he could comment.  He mentioned to the County that folks in the referral process needed to know that it (the referral) was incomplete, but that the County would not pass on that information.
    Vicky—said she would have a conversation with PRMD and Gore’s office on how to improve this process.  She will approach them and request that notifications happen in a timely manner.
    Yael Bernier—neighbor at 1720 Canyon Road, Geyserville—mentioned that it was not posted in the paper.  She mentioned that setting a precedent is the worst part.  It is hard to stop the momentum.
    Council Chair Jenny Gomez—expressed how important it is for the Council to hear.
    Andrew Pardiac—Editor of the Healdsburg Tribune—Suggested public notices from the County.  He would also be willing to put a link for our Agendas, and promised to speak with Council after the meeting.
    Discussion of improving email communication regarding referrals—
    Council Chair Jenny Gomez—expressed that it can be confusing.  We get different stuff coming at different times on one referral.
    Council Secretary Sharon Pillsbury—recommended searching by “Sonoma-county”, which is in most of the email addresses from our county contacts.
    Councilmember Bengt Akerlind—mentioned that Sharon is a recipient on all of the emails.
    Council Chair Jenny Gomez—expressed her belief that most of the issue has cleared up since we contacted the County regarding this issue.
  10. Agenda Items for future meetings
    Any new referrals
    Another update from the County on any updates to cannabis ordinances (contact Jennifer Mendoza for the name of the new contact for cannabis referrals)
    Discussion of Cannabis issues—especially for proposals that are right off the main roads—and would like more information on harvest, smell, security, response times, etc.
  11. Adjournment
    There being no other Council business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at
    6:51 pm; on a motion by Councilmember Vicky Farrow, seconded by Council Chair Jenny Gomez. The motion carried on a voice vote, (4-0).<u></u>

Contact Information

Jen Mendoza

4th District Director

Board of Supervisors
County of Sonoma
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