County supervisors allow the expansion of a cannabis farm south of Humboldt, but not as the farm owner originally intended.
On Monday, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to allow Nava Ranch to continue operating its existing mixed-light greenhouses and expand its operation to include outdoor cannabis cultivation instead of allowing expansion of mixed light greenhouses. .
“I think that’s a good compromise,” said Steve Madrone, a 5th district supervisor. “It’s trying to listen to the neighbors, it’s trying to do something for the applicant, but it’s not based on past behavior and it’s focused on inspections.”
Several neighbors spoke during public comments that the farm was producing too much light and noise pollution with its current operation and wanted supervisors to reject any plans to expand indoor cultivation.
“I was hoping to retire in peace,” said neighbor Maureen Catalina, one of the people who appealed the decision to allow a modified version of the extension. “It’s a very serious situation … please don’t expand into our pristine and fragile area.”
Applicants said no issues were brought to their attention and that the Humboldt County Planning and Construction Department had not recorded any code violations or received any complaints.
The applicant had used county regulations and guidelines to develop the expansion and had already invested tens of thousands of dollars, said Nate Madsen of the Rain and Zepp Law Firm.
Second District Supervisor Michelle Bushnell also noted that outdoor cannabis cultivation is not as economically viable on the market as indoor cannabis, although Madrone said market should not affect the way the board makes its decisions.
Bushnell asked neighbors if they would agree to the expansion of the Nava Ranch if it proved it could comply with noise and light ordinances, but Catherine said any expansion of greenhouses in the area would be unsightly and dissuasive to tourists.
Sonia Waraich can be contacted at 707-441-0504.