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Letters to the Editor: December 12, 2018 

FOG speaks!


Slanted, Unenchanted

Readers: Before you completely buy this very slanted piece of writing, I suggest you get the facts relevant to this proposed cannabis project ("Grow-Site Pain," Dec. 5). If the county approves this project as submitted or revised, then that is the only binding obligation the applicants have to follow, no matter what they say they are willing to do for the community.

If approved, the permitted changes to Mr. Buck's property will include structures where there have never been structures on this open agricultural land. They could be extremely close to the West County Trail and homes on the south edge of Graton. It would be a permanent change to how the land can be used. If Mr. Buck decides to sell his property, his promises to the community will not pass on to the new owners, but these changes will.

Yes, folks who live in Graton are concerned about changes to our quality of life. A number of us have studied the application and encouraged others to inform themselves about the potential permitted changes to our community.

I am disappointed to find this poor example of journalism in the Bohemian. I have spoken with a number of the FOG members, and none of them were contacted by Mr. Gogola about the issues he raises. It makes me feel that I cannot be confident that what I read in this publication is reliable information.


The most important factor about the proposed cannabis grow site and facility in Graton is compatibility with what already exists. The proposal is to cover both fields on both sides of the bike trail with open-air cannabis cultivation, many large green houses, processing buildings, offices and ample parking for employees. The only access to the proposed site is a narrow one lane road through a quiet residential neighborhood. The cannabis facility will require high perimeter fencing, security patrols, surveillance cameras and night lighting.

As we all know, cannabis remains a crime magnet. This proposed cannabis grow and facility would be smack-dab along a well-used and well-loved stretch of the bike trail. This section of the bike trail traverses wild fields and wetlands, and is adjacent to the Atascadero Creek. The proposed cannabis grow and facility is not compatible with nature, with a bike trail, or with a residential neighborhood. Jackalope needs to set up shop in an industrial zoned area.


The point of the article, to me, is that we expect unbiased, fair and just representation from our "democratically elected officials," and it appears that's not what we're getting. Our representative should try to fully inform us and create a space for stakeholders in conflict to come together and communicate in a meaningful way. It appears to me that our supervisor has taken a strong position against the applicants, their application and against cannabis in general. But it's not too late. Collaboration is possible. Let's make space for that, face to face. I think we can work through a lot of our differences, but not if we just take fixed positions and close ourselves to respectful communication and compromise. This is an opportunity to do that, not to war and treat each other as enemies. We can do this. I have faith. This is the path with the most benefit.


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