In February 2019, two Code Enforcement Inspectors responded to a report from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office regarding commercial Cannabis plants being cultivated at a residential property in southern Santa Rosa. These reports often include unsafe building practices, substandard living conditions, unsafe buildings, illegal and unsafe electrical modifications and additions to the structures as well as illegal greenhouses.
The Inspectors took the details from the Sheriff’s office, went out to the property and posted the violations for growing cannabis commercially without permits. When they arrived at the property they noted the very tall security fencing surrounding the front of the property with security lighting and cameras along with angry guard dogs, all commonly on parcels used for illegal cannabis production.
A week later, the inspectors met with tenants from both houses as well as a representative of the property owner. They found unsafe electrical conditions in this house along with no available heating. Our Inspectors also looked into the second house on this parcel. The second house was used as a grow house for cannabis and as a home for a family with two young girls. They found a substandard kitchen; the family was cooking with a propane fueled camp stove. There was no working heat source in this home. They noted this home was substandard as it did not have a working water heater; they were heating water on the stove to bathe. This house also had unsafe electrical conditions; no face plates on multiple electrical outlets.
The inspectors immediately reported their concerns to Sonoma County Child Protective Services (CPS). They involved one of the CPS social workers to advocate for the children in an effort to bring the conditions they were living into an acceptable standard.
In early April, the inspectors returned to the property and found the second home had a functioning stove and fully functioning kitchen. The tenant’s wife and mother of the two girls was cooking at the time of this inspection. There was permitted electrical and a permitted gas line to the residence. This home now had a working heater and a working water heater. All the substandard conditions had been abated and the home appeared safe to occupy.
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