September 22, 2017 – In the last several weeks, Nevada County has received ten Notice of Application (NOA) letters from California’s Water Quality Control Board for those who have enrolled in their Cannabis Cultivation Waste Discharge Regulatory Program. This program was created by the Water Quality Control Board to ensure that any owner/operator/tenant/lessee of any property where there is 2,000 square feet or more of cannabis cultivation is in compliance with their water usage. The Water Quality Control Board sends NOA letters to the County to ensure that property owners are in compliance with local regulations before continuing their own permitting process.Upon an initial review, many of these properties are found to have code compliance issues pertaining to permitted building structures, grading permits, and permitted residences.
In an effort to educate and provide an opportunity for applicants to make the necessary corrections to their property, Nevada County’s Community Development Agency (CDA) is developing a process to notify the property owner of the received NOA letter and offer to set up a site visit to check compliance before responding to the Water Quality Control Board. Property owners can decide if they’d like to schedule a site visit to review the initial property findings, Nevada County Municipal Codes, and the Water Quality Control Board General Order requirements before Nevada County replies to the Water Quality Control Board’s NOA letter. Site visits will be conducted by CDA, to inform on land use compliance, and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, to advise on compliance with the current Cannabis Ordinance.
After the initial property review process, CDA will send a response letter with their findings pertaining to Nevada County’s Municipal Code requirements to both the property owner and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. If the parcel is in compliance with County codes, the Water Quality Control Board will proceed with the permit processing. If the parcel is not in compliance with County codes, the Water Quality Control Board will issue a hold letter for coverage until the property is in compliance with all County codes or deny coverage.
The process is expected to be available on the Cannabis Conversation website early next week.