I live on a horse ranch on Fredensborg Canyon Road. Supervisor Joan Hartmann was instrumental in preventing a cannabis farm in our community from expanding to a large growing operation.
The grower was already growing medicinal marijuana for personal use. He was proposing to build just under 15,000 square feet in greenhouses for marijuana cultivation, on a five-acre parcel completely surrounded by homes and small ranches, in a neighborhood community outside the Solvang city limits. It was not a suitable place for a large growing operation, as even the Solvang City Council stated and voted. But, because it wasn’t immediately next to the Solvang urban boundary, it wasn’t automatically banned, and it might well have been approved.
We reached out to Joan Hartmann, who dove in to help. She and her staff worked for six months with the community to revamp the ordinance to prevent that grow, and others like it. She met with a room full of angry people, but stayed with us, working together through the Planning Commission and back to the Board of Supervisors. Joan took a leadership role throughout; she was one woman in a room full of men but speaking with a ‘‘soft loud voice.” That’s Joan; she speaks from the heart, but follows through with knowledge, commitment, and expertise.
We had a gathering not long ago to celebrate the revamped ordinance and our neighborhood being saved — and we honored Joan Hartmann’s work for our community.