California Coastal Commission Upholds Two Carpinteria Valley Cannabis Projects | Local News

Appeals of a Carpinteria Valley cannabis farm and dispensary went all the way to the California Coastal Commission, which voted this week to uphold Santa Barbara County’s permit approvals.

Neighboring business owners and residents have objected to the proposed Santa Claus Lane marijuana dispensary since it was first proposed, with concerns about parking and traffic, coastal access, and compatibility with the beach-recreation-focused community.

Santa Barbara County specifically approved the location as one of six sites for dispensaries in unincorporated areas, and the permit approval has been upheld at the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors and, now, the California Coastal Commission.

Review boards have largely come to the same conclusions, that the applicants met all of the requirements under the current rules.

The Roots dispensary is permitted for 3823 Santa Claus Lane in an existing building with off-street parking.

Property owners Pat and Maire Radis are the applicants, and Steven Kent and Nancy Rikalo, who own neighboring business properties, are the appellants.

The California Coastal Commission met remotely this week and voted 7-3 that no substantial issue was raised by the appeal.

Member Meagan Harmon, a Santa Barbara city councilwoman, was one of the three dissenting votes. She said she had concerns about what the intensity-of-use change does to local parking and coastal access.

The Coastal Commission also unanimously found no substantial issue with a Carpinteria Valley greenhouse cannabis farm project proposed by Ivan Van Wingerden.

The cultivation site at 3508 Via Real borders Arroyo Paredon Creek, and the county’s permit approvals require Van Wingerden to remove 39,739 square feet of unpermitted structures within the creek setback.

The project would increase the height of two existing greenhouses and include cannabis processing facilities, water tanks, a stormwater detention system, riparian habitat restoration, and give “after-the-fact approval” for 10,299 square feet of accessory structures.

County resident Jill Stassinos appealed the project because of concerns about the negative impact on the nearby creek and cannabis odor impacts. Opponents also raised concerns about the precedent of legalizing structures built without permits.

Commission staff said they believe the county had adequate legal support for approving the project, and commissioners unanimously agreed in a Wednesday vote.

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