Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Feb 09th
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

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits