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Supervisors Will Dig Into Pot-Growing Ordinance

Rich 2011-02-21 0 comments

By Roger H. Alyworth |  Published on ChicoER

On Tuesday, Butte County supervisors will get their first look at a proposed marijuana cultivation ordinance that would apply to the unincorporated areas of the county.

The proposed ordinance makes it clear that while it says it is in compliance with the Prop. 215, which authorized the use and growth of medical marijuana, and the associated implementing legislation, there was not going to be any wide open operations in Butte County in the future.

“The unregulated cultivation of marijuana in the unincorporated area of Butte County can adversely affect the health, safety and well-being of the county, its residents and environment,” the document cites.

The proposed ordinance includes strict limits on how many plants can be grown on which sized lots.

For example, individual growers with a medical marijuana recommendation from a physician are allowed to have no more than one mature and two immature plants at any one time.

The number of allowed plants increases depending on the parcel where they are grown and the garden must be restricted to 25 square feet.

At the top of the list includes properties of 160 acres or more, which can hold a total of no more than 99 plants, either mature, juvenile, or in combination.

Except for the smallest gardens on less than an acre of land, growers have to register with the county department of development services. There is also an annual registration fee.

For properties bigger than one acre, but less than 20 acres, the annual fee is $832, and that can climb to $1,231 as the property size increases.

There is also a “zip-tie” fee. Under the proposed ordinance, each plant must have a zip-tie attached to it with an individual identification number. The ties will cost growers $44 each.

There are also fencing requirements, setbacks and specified distances that gardens must be away from schools, parks and other facilities. The numbers range from 100 feet for the smallest gardens on the smallest plots, to 1,000 feet at the other end.

The ordinance will be the subject of a public hearing planned to take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Supervisors’ Chambers, in the Administration Building on County Center Drive in Oroville.