Settlement Reached in Winchester Canyon Cannabis Land Use Project

Credit: Courtesy

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The City of Goleta and Hidden Trails, LLC (“Hidden Trails”) have reached a settlement in Hidden Trail’s proposed cannabis project at 222 Winchester Canyon Drive. The settlement agreement obligates Hidden Trails staff to have in place a robust odor response complaint and remediation process and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) monitoring system.

The 17.23-acre outdoor cannabis and indoor processing project is located on 349 acres of agriculturally zoned property in the unincorporated area of the County of Santa Barbara (“County”). Operations would be located approximately 3,000 feet from the City of Goleta boundaries. Before Hidden Trails may cultivate cannabis, Hidden Trails must construct the project, including installing security fencing and cameras, and apply for and obtain a County Business License and State Cannabis licenses. Operations of the cannabis project are at least 10 months out.

All parties are committed to preventing odor episodes, to developing an objective, measurable way to detect odor, and to utilizing weather monitoring and technology to pinpoint odor sources. If odor is reported and verified, Hidden Trails is required under the terms of the settlement to immediately implement a series of steps to identify the source and mitigate odor. If odor problems recur, Hidden Trails will continuously review their operations and systems and, if they are inadequate, will upgrade their odor control equipment and employ additional mitigation measures to ensure their neighbors do not experience adverse odors. Under the settlement agreement, Hidden Trails also will also train its employees to follow stringent operational protocols that it will implement during harvest periods to minimize odor.

Hidden Trails is also required to install a H2S monitor for its irrigation system so that any release of H2S levels at odor nuisance levels would be reported to the City within one hour of detection. In addition, Hidden Trails would not be allowed to irrigate with well water again until a corrective action plan has been approved by the Air Pollution Control District (APCD). Residents who smell H2S, which can released from agricultural and domestic wells in the region, should call 911 so that the County Fire Department, as first responders to H2S issues, can measure H2S levels and determine if any emergency response is necessary.

These actions represent today’s state-of-the-art approach to resolving odors associated with cannabis farms. If more advanced technology is developed in the future, the settlement agreement contemplates the implementation of the most current odor control systems. The City of Goleta and Hidden Trails are committed to working with the residents nearby to resolve any future issues.

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