April 13, 2018 – The Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, May 1st to review and discuss a draft ordinance, and to hear public comment on the direction the Board provided in past meetings on the future of cannabis regulations in unincorporated Nevada County.
The direction provided by the Board at prior meetings provided enough information for staff to assess the environmental review requirements of a new ordinance. Staff’s assessment, based on the Board’s direction to allow commercial cultivation up to 10,000 square feet outdoors on various zoned parcel sizes, requires a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
To speed up the contracted environmental review process as much as possible, staff is preparing a letter of interest to firms that have the expertise and experience to prepare a comprehensive EIR for Nevada County. This letter will contain a link to the publicly noticed agenda on May 1st so these firms can review the draft ordinance and get familiar with the project prior to the formal request for proposal (RFP) being released. This letter of interest will contain information only about the RFP that will follow. Starting the EIR requires a substantially drafted ordinance to review the full scope of the project.
Assuming there are no substantial changes in policy direction from the Board at the May 1st meeting on the draft ordinance, the goal is to release the RFP shortly after the meeting. Using this methodology will allow a shorter response time for the RFP, and allow the additional formal environmental review process with a consultant to begin as quickly as possible. It will also allow the consultant to have a great deal of background before bringing the contract to the Board for approval. Staff’s goal is to complete the environmental review as soon as feasibly possible. Staff is reviewing existing documents, the State’s EIR, and will utilize applicable analyses as much as possible to avoid duplication of efforts, while considering the unique local conditions for Nevada County.