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March 30, 2023

County weighs opposing high-speed rail, bill to legalize cannabis shops

San Benito County supervisors will consider whether to oppose state legislation that could lead to legalization of adult-use cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated areas.

Supervisors are set to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the San Benito County Administration Building, 481 Fourth St., Hollister.

The following are among items on the agenda:

Closed session on Ridgemark development legal concern

Potential of litigation relating to letter received on January 22, 2019 requesting County to enforce zoning contract between the County and Ridgemark Corporation.

Cannabis opposition letter

This consideration is to approve a Letter of Opposition to AB 1356, an assembly bill that would allow cannabis retail in the unincorporated region. According to a staff report attached to the item: Multiple jurisdictions and other entities are submitting letters to indicate their opposition to this legislation. This bill requires jurisdictions in which more than 50% of the electorate voted to approve the legalization of adult-use cannabis to issue a minimum number of local licenses to authorize retail cannabis commercial activity. The bill allows a jurisdiction to limit eligibility for licenses to only medicinal licensees. Specifically, it establishes a minimum of one retail license issued for every four liquor licenses, unless that ratio would result in more than one retail license for every 10,000 people, in which case the minimum is one retail license for every 10,000 people. Voters could approve a lower number of licenses as well.

Support to end high-speed rail project

According to the staff report, Kern County has adopted a resolution of abandoning the High Speed Rail Project. The letter of opposition from San Benito notes that both proposed routes would pass through the county, one near Casa de Fruta and another near Frazier Lake and Bloomfield roads. The letter underscores the plan’s immense financial pitfalls.

Reappoint ag commissioner

According to the staff report: The Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures is re-appointed to a four year term by the board. In accordance with the terms and conditions authorized, Ag Commissioner Karen Overstreet will continue to receive 120 hours of administrative leave annually. All other benefits are consistent with those provided to other County Department Heads. Special Assignment Pay of 10% is requested for appointment of cannabis designee.

Update on zebra mussels at San Justo Reservoir

In September 2018, San Justo Reservoir Zebra Mussel Eradication report was created for the Bureau of Reclamation, which is attached with the agenda. According to an agenda report: The Denver Technical Services Center (TSC) is in the final phases of completing the Draft Eradication Plan. Reclamation prepared a Draft San Justo Zebra Mussel Eradication Plan for scientific peer review in early April. Requests for peer review were sent out through mid-April expecting a responses by May. This project has also been tagged for inclusion in a nationwide effort as a case study for Collaborative Conservation and Adaptation Strategy Toolbox, which is a joint venture of the Southwest Climate Hub, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Forest Service, according to the staff report. The last staff report was brought to the Board of supervisors on March 8, 2016

For the full agenda, go here.

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