You may have noticed the new signs in our valley erected by the Bennett Valley Grape Growers highlighting the uniqueness of our viticultural area at key entrance roads—two on Bennett Valley Road near each entrance to the valley and one at the junction of Crane Canyon and Grange Road. The AVA was established in 2003, but grapes have been grown here for over a century.
Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by the recent fire storm. Also an enormous thanks to all first responders.
Here is drone footage of the devastation on Bennett Ridge.
On September 21st 2017, Permit Sonoma gave a talk on the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance and the Vacation Rentals Ordinance. They provided and overview of their provisions and explained how they are enforced. This PowerPoint summarizes the presentation.
|2017 09 21 Bennett Valley Cannabis Vacation Rental Presentation||4.58 MB||2017-09-22|
Here's an Interesting segment that aired on ABC 7 on February 23, 2017 about the Mountain Lion Project in our area. The cats have been tracked all over Bennett Valley.
Dr. Martins will be returning to give us an update, tentatively scheduled for 7PM on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 at the Bennett Valley Community Hall, 4145 Grange Rd.
By Craig S. Harrison, BVCA President
The Board of Supervisors has adopted a Cannabis Tax Ordinance and Medical Cannabis Land Use Ordinance which takes effect on January 20, 2017. It forbids commercial cultivation on Rural Residential- and Agricultural Residential-zoned parcels and directs cultivation to agricultural- and industrial- zoned areas, with limited options in the resource districts.
For parcels where cultivation is allowed, a permit is required which will be issued to a person and must be renewed annually. The permit process requires notification to owners of neighboring parcels who may object to the permit. The BVCA will request that it be notified in order to enable notification to the broader community.
Personal cultivation is allowed under the recently-approved Proposition 64 which is limited to no more than 100 square feet per residence, of which up to 6 plants can be cultivated for adult use (non-medical) purposes. No permit or registry is now required but may be considered in the future to thwart illegal commercial cultivation occurring under the guise of personal use.
Posted below are maps showing the zoning in the Bennett Valley Area Plan and a link to the County's GIS Database so you can lookup the zoning in your area. Bennett Valley has a mix of Diverse Agriculture, Resources and Rural Development, and Rural Residential. To learn whether a parcel’s owner can apply for a permit for commercial cultivation you must determine the parcel’s zoning.
The Cannabis Tax Ordinance will be considered at a special election on March 7, 2017, and no permits will be issued unless that tax is approved. Permit Sonoma (formerly PRMD) will issue guidance concerning cannabis regulation in the near future which we will post to the BVCA web site when it is available.
See also the Permit Sonoma GIS Map: http://www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/activemap/
On Thursday, November 19, 2015 Sandi Potter, Ground Water Geologist, and Tennis Wick, director, of the Sonoma County PRMD led a discussion on the impact on Sonoma County well users of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
The bottom line for Bennett Valley residents and agricultural users is that the current act only applies to specific ground water basins and Bennett Valley is not one of them.
Domestic users in the affected basins also are exempt unless they use over 2 acre feet of water per year (this nets out to 1,785 gallons per well per day).
All of the Information presented by the PRMD and more can be found on their website: http://sonomacountygroundwater.org/.
Sandi Potter, Sonoma County's Maanager of Environmental Review and Comprehensive Planning presented the following materials on the Riparian Corridor protections in the County General Plan at July BVCA meeting on July 17th.
See also the PRMD website: http://www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/docs/riparian_corridor/
11-24-2014 PRMD ORD13-0002 ADOPTED ORD Exh AB_final 11-24-14