Sonoma County officials are seeking public input Wednesday evening on a plan that would enable community gardens on county-owned land.

The initiative would open up pieces of parkland, open space and other vacant county property to gardeners. It was endorsed last year by county supervisors as a key way to provide easier access to high-quality food, especially for low-income populations.

A pilot project launched last year has transformed a corner of Larson Regional Park in Boyes Hot Springs into a vegetable garden tended by a coalition of nonprofit groups and community members.

To expand the effort, county officials have selected 10 additional garden sites, most less than an acre. They include spots in Maxwell Farms Regional Park in Sonoma, Maddux Ranch Community Park north of Santa Rosa and Ragle Ranch Regional Park in Sebastopol.

Wednesday's meeting, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Hall, will give an overview of the sites and allow for feedback on the application process and operating guidelines for interested gardeners.

Staff from the county's UC Cooperative Extension office, which is organizing the effort, along with representatives from the county's water, parks, open space and health agencies will be on hand to take input.

The Board of Supervisors is set to sign off on the garden program in May.

A related effort aims to bolster agriculture by opening up a wider swath of county land to small farmers and ranchers

An inventory of suitable lands, including possibly hundreds of acres of county open space, is now under way.

Supervisors are set to review that program, including lease rates and charitable giving guidelines, in June.

Register for Wednesday's meeting at

Pot around Sonoma County

Three Sonoma County cannabis dispensaries will be open for adult-use sales on Jan. 1, 2018:

11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
785 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol

SPARC/Peace in Medicine
10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
6771 Sebastopol Ave. #100, Sebastopol

Mercy Wellness of Cotati
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
7950 Redwood Drive #8, Cotati

Pot around Sonoma County

Sebastopol: Adult-use and medical cannabis sales take place at the city’s two dispensaries. Manufacturing and other aspects of the business will be considered in 2018. Indoor cultivation for personal use is allowed.

Cotati: Allows adult-use and medical cannabis sales at its sole dispensary.

Santa Rosa: Medical marijuana businesses are allowed in the city. Santa Rosa will allow sales of adult-use cannabis on Jan. 19. Indoor cultivation for personal use is allowed.

Cloverdale: Up to two cannabis dispensaries are allowed in the city, although there are none currently. Manufacturing, distribution and cultivation business permit applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Petaluma: Allows cannabis delivery services and some cannabis manufacturing but has not allowed any dispensaries inside city limits.

Windsor: Dispensaries and other types of cannabis businesses as well as outdoor cultivation is banned in Windsor. Residents must get a town permit for personal-use cultivation, which is only allowed to occur indoors.

Sonoma city: Cannabis cultivation, indoor and outdoor, is banned but the rule will be reconsidered December 2018. Delivery businesses with headquarters outside the city must acquire a city permit to conduct deliveries in the city. Some personal cultivation is allowed but residents must comply with a variety of city requirements like security systems.

Sonoma County: Rules are in places for medical marijuana businesses and supervisors will consider rules for adult use in 2018.

Rohnert Park: Does not all manufacturing, distributing or selling marijuana within city limits.

Healdsburg: Prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries.


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