Santa Barbara County to Require Conditional Use Permit for Cannabis Cultivation
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Santa Barbara County to Require Conditional Use Permit for Cannabis Cultivation

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance this week that will require the higher-level permit, rather than a simple land use permit, for cultivators to operate in certain zones.

August 17, 2022

Officials in Santa Barbara County, Calif., have adopted a new ordinance that requires a higher-level permit for those looking to grow cannabis in certain zones.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance Aug. 16 that will require cultivators to obtain a conditional use permit (CUP), rather than a simple land use permit (LUP), to grow on land zoned Agriculture 2 in inland Santa Barbara County, as well as outdoors in various industrial and manufacturing zones, according to the Santa Ynez Valley News.

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The board had requested the CUPs in order to give the supervisors and the Planning Commission the ability to condition projects to ensure they are compatible with the neighborhood prior to permit approval, the news outlet reported.

The ordinance will take effect in 30 days but will not become operational until Jan. 31, 2023, so that two applicants, who are nearly done with the permitting process, can get their LUPs approved before the ordinance is in full swing, according to the Santa Ynez Valley News.

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Others who have applied for LUPs and are not nearing the end of the permitting process must convert their applications to seek CUPs, the news outlet reported.

Applicants seeking CUPs must include an odor abatement plan if their facilities are adjacent to an existing developed rural neighborhood or an urban rural boundary, according to the Santa Ynez Valley News, or if the cultivation space is more than 51% of the gross lot area in Agriculture 2 zones.

Tuesday’s vote also granted cultivators with LUPs an option to add processing operations with an LUP, the news outlet reported, and those operating with CUPs can add processing operations with an amended CUP in Agriculture 1, Agriculture 2 and manufacturing zones.