Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Apr 18th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Supervisor John Leopold

John LeopoldSWhat have you heard from constituents of yours who—while not living in the City of Santa Cruz—are served by the city’s water department regarding the pause on plans for desalination and related water supply issues? What are you doing to make progress on the water supply problem for your district?

Many of the residents of the First District are interested in participating in the process for making long-term decisions about water use and supply in our area. Unfortunately, more than 30,000 First District residents served by the City of Santa Cruz Water District (one-third of all ratepayers) have little say in the choices that are being made.

Live Oak residents pay more for their water, have no elected representation in the management of the system, and are represented by only one appointed member of the Water Advisory Commission. My constituents were happy to see that there will also be one appointed member from outside the city on the new, 11-member Water Supply Advisory Committee. However, concerns remain that representation is disproportionate to the number of ratepayers outside the City of Santa Cruz. I have been working with Santa Cruz City Council members to ensure that whenever a vote is taken by city residents related to water supply options, the 30,000-plus ratepayers outside the city will also have the opportunity to weigh in.

The Soquel Creek Water District, which has been considering desalination in concert with the City of Santa Cruz, has done a good job of reaching out to residents in their service area to inform and engage them in a series of very difficult decisions surrounding their very limited water supply. I applaud the efforts of the District to be leaders in conservation requirements and appreciate their candid discussions about their water situation and their choices.

County staff is working with both districts to examine all the ways to work together to share our limited water supply. We must look past a singular solution and parallel track a number of creative ideas together to address our water supply challenges.

Particularly in light of proposed medical marijuana cultivation regulations currently being considered, how prepared is the county to face potential legalization of marijuana in California, such as has happened in Colorado and Washington?

In 1996, Santa Cruz County voters strongly expressed their interest in allowing the compassionate use of medical marijuana and passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, by 74 percent. The Board of Supervisors has been working to address the will of the voters by creating a clear set of regulations. After the California Supreme Court ruled that local governments can pass their own set of regulations, our Board began to work diligently to ensure access for patients who have doctor’s recommendation. After several public hearings and substantial public testimony, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance that establishes land-use regulations that define where dispensaries can be sited in commercial areas, and that also addresses business-operating guidelines.

This month we will hopefully adopt a reasonable set of rules to limit cultivation based on three key principles: protecting our neighborhoods, protecting the environment and ensuring access for those in need. Commercial grows will be moved out of residential neighborhoods and be sited more appropriately within agriculturally zoned areas. There are space limitations, required fencing, and a prohibition on sightlines in the public right of way. Patients will continue to be allowed to grow their own medicine at home and are now restricted to 100 square feet, regardless of how many patients live in a house.

At the request of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau, our Board has also taken the first steps to recognize the importance of a third-party certification system for the cultivation of this plant. Based on the successful models in the organic and timber industries, we have conceptually adopted a set of goals for cultivation that protect the environment, adhere to our regulations, encourage good community relations, and promote worker and community safety.

With these ordinances addressing cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana, Santa Cruz County will be well positioned to adapt our existing policies to any new laws if California voters decide to legalize marijuana like they have in Colorado and Washington. Until a proposition is passed addressing the recreational use of marijuana, we will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our medical marijuana regulations.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?