Abated Landowner Claims Addressing County’s Concerns Over Legacy Logging on Property With Not a ‘Stick of Cannabis’ Cost 286K

Evidence submitted of no cultivation at the time abatement notice received. [Photo provided by Jane Doe]

Evidence submitted at the time abatement notice received. [Photo provided by Jane Doe]

By Nichole Norris: *Full disclosure: This reporter is studying law with Eugene Denson and worked at his law office until 2018. 

This is Part 2 in a series on The Humboldt County Cannabis Abatement Program (Part 1 here). The abatement recipient does not want to go public with her name at this time. For the purposes of this story I will call her Jane Doe.

Listen to the extended audio story here in full.

Jane Doe received a notice of violation and notice to abate on March 31, 2019 for alleged cannabis cultivation without a permit, a violation of the Commercial Cannabis Land Use Ordinance, HCC, § 314-55.4 and for alleged unpermitted grading for the purpose of cannabis cultivation, a violation of HCC, § 331-14.

Doe said, “I did not have a stick of cannabis on my land,” and she argued that the grading in question was largely for a driveway that was made by a company that logged her father’s land 45 years ago, before he purchased it. She explained that the Planning and Building Department was, “Making a lot of assumptions that were not correct… We never expanded for the purpose of cannabis cultivation. We were not egregious–my husband is a part of the Green Party…We put a lot of love into our property…using the lay of the land as it had already been damaged [by the logging company].”

In our interview, she describes the abatement process as “nothing short of a terrorist attack.” She said, “You were absolutely guilty until proven innocent. It was a power play…You better do exactly what we say or else your property is going to be seized. It may not have been those exact words, but that was the implicit message.”

Doe said she felt her application for the Safe Homes program triggered her abatement. “There was always an unpermitted cabin on the land since my father bought it 35-40 years ago,” she explained. “When it fell in…we used the same plans to rebuild a new one.” Doe hoped to get the cabin permitted through Humboldt County’s Safe Homes program that she “heard about on KMUD” so she applied January of 2019.

Doe said, “I trusted them. I thought they wanted to work with us… but I had a bad feeling the day I turned in my [Safe Homes] application… the first thing [the Planning and Building Department staff member] said to me was what’s the slope of your driveway and have you registered your spring.” Doe explained, “I had all the water rights” and “didn’t understand why they were asking those questions.” She said she just wanted to permit her cabin but, “[felt] like the Safe Homes program was a trap and I got sucked into it.”

She said that Warren Black, an employee at the Planning and Building Department, told her the Safe Homes’ application was “unrelated to the abatement.” But she explained, “It seems related to me, while I’m waiting months on the County to send a building inspector out, instead I get an abatement notice on my gate?”

Cannabis abatement letter Humboldt County

Notice to abate for another landowner posted here to show how the paperwork is often first seen by the recipient. Photo posted in RHBB on June 24, 2018.

When in relation to Humboldt County’s allegations of “cannabis cultivation without a permit,” a notice to abate a nuisance and a notice of violation are posted on people’s gates or community bulletin boards; they are often mailed to the address on file for the property owner and posted in the Times Standard newspaper and website. When someone receives a notice, they are required to remove alleged nuisances, prove there is no cannabis, remove greenhouses and other structures where applicable, and send photos to the Planning and Building Department as evidence all within 10 days. No one from the County confirms this in person, but they do verify using satellite imagery. If you receive a “grading without a permit” violation you are required to hire a professional engineer within 10 days. These are the most common violations associated with cannabis, though there are several more. Additionally, one is required to either file for an abatement appeal hearing or sign a compliance agreement that generally comes with a one day fine (in her case $20,000).

Doe said, “I didn’t find the notice [to abate a nuisance and notice of violation] until four days after it was posted April 3, 2019.” She went to the Planning and Building Department to discuss the violation’s inaccuracies the first business day after receiving the notices. Doe elaborates on her conversation with Warren Black, the code enforcement agent. She said she asked him, “What proof do you have that I was growing cannabis?” Then, she said, “[Black] showed me pictures from years past of a medical garden that I have all my medical cards for.”

Doe said Black advised her, “Medical cannabis didn’t happen after 2016,” as soon as cannabis became legal, medical was nonexistent, and “215’s only exist because people like you will pay for them.”

According to Planning and Building Department Director John Ford at a town hall meeting at the Mateel Center on August 23, 2017, “That’s a little bit grey and legal minds disagree on that… Under 215, people cannot be arrested or prosecuted criminally, but this does not override compliance with local regulations… I’ve looked into it, people disagree on that point. That’s the best answer I can give you.”

Local attorney Eugene Denson states his position,

Medical marijuana law from before legalization remains the law today with one exception: there is no cooperative or collective cultivation for medical marijuana anymore… individual patients with 215s, may grow and possess as much medical marijuana as is reasonably related to their current medical condition, to quote case law… The relationship between personal use plants and medical use plants is not clear in the law… The Sheriff is unaware that these 215s are legal, and will chop the crop upon sighting it. You can sue, but that won’t get you the medicine. One other hurdle for patients: Humboldt County land use ordinances… Medical patients with a green thumb may find it simplest to grow 6 huge plants and forget the 215s. (Denson’s full opinion on Prop 215 post Prop 64 here).

Doe said Black told her to have someone out to her property within 10 days or the $20,000 daily fines would begin. Doe’s husband felt this was “extortion.” Doe was determined to “not loose her dad’s land,” so she took detailed notes on what she needed to do to resolve this and immediately sought out an engineer. On her way home from the Planning and Building Department, she went to several different engineers to discover that they were all booked, some two months out. With only six days left before the $20,000 daily fines began accruing, she was “panicking” and had someone “pull some strings” for her to make an exception to their two month wait time.
"Evidence submitted of no cultivation at the time abatement notice received.“Evidence submitted of no cultivation at the time abatement notice received. [All photos provided by Jane Doe]

Doe said she followed through with the engineer who began her forest restoration plan immediately. She took pictures to prove there was no cannabis cultivation, and she submitted all the required paperwork to Warren Black within six days after she received the notice. Doe said, “Warren Black has never responded still to this day, so that $20,000 daily fine was just looming… I resent that they are in this position where they can place all these timelines and demands on the people and yet they don’t hold themselves to the same standards.”

As a result of the abatement Doe said, “I could not sleep, I was stressing, it was crazy, the timelines…It took a toll on my husband’s health…It was the most stressful experience in our 23 years together.”

I asked her to elaborate on the grading violation and she explained, “Our property had been completely clear cut 45 years ago. That’s how my dad got it so cheap.” According to Doe, when she began to homestead the land, she “cleared brush off of old logging roads to use them and for fire prevention purposes” because “there had been a fire nearby years ago that almost wiped us out.” She also stated that they cut their household’s firewood using sustainable harvesting techniques. There were 32 sites for restoration, including another open area in question that Doe said “was an old landing area which is where the logging company put the log deck in a logging operation.” Doe claimed, “John Ford admitted with Bob Russell in one meeting that the grading was done by the logging company.”

Doe explained, “We never graded more than 50 cubic yards for the purpose of cannabis cultivation,” as stated in the notice “but we did grade our driveway, because it slipped out every winter.”

old culvert featured in restoration plan

Old culvert featured in restoration plan.

Doe said the logging company made the driveway. She admitted that the culvert did need replacing, but she did not think it was necessary to replace it with one that could withstand a 100-year flood, which necessitated it being four feet wide by 60 feet long.

Doe, having reached out to the County on several occasions with no response,  and being concerned that the $20,000/ daily fines were accumulating, rushed to “fix the logging legacies” including the 60 foot long, four foot tall culvert per her various experts and the 19 agencies working on her case. Doe said one of her experts suggested that they do the restoration plan and fix the culvert before hearing back from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife or County. Not only were the fines accruing, but the wet season was approaching and their October 15 deadline to finish the culvert was as well.

Doe said, “I just wanted this abatement over and these people out of my life…I finally got a response from Fish and Game the day it was too late to do anything about the culvert.” She finally discovered on October 15, that they were to begin the restoration project in May 2020, after they had already completed the work as advised by various experts.

Finished culvert. [Photo provided by Jane Doe]

Finished culvert. [Photo provided by Jane Doe]

Doe says her husband is a licensed heavy equipment machine operator and owns the equipment required to do the culvert and other forest remediation work. Doe said, “The cost of the 100-year flood culvert was approximately $100k,” had her husband not done it. However, she said her husband did miss out on his contracted union job in Paradise. Before they received the abatement “he was contracted to make $1400 a day that year [$232k, April-November]…He already had his parking space reserved for his RV,” but they felt he had to stay as a consequence of the abatement notice’s strict timelines instead, which lead to “financial devastation.”

They didn’t just lose his wages but also incurred, “endless restoration costs, 4k for this, 11k for the engineer, numerous application fees, paying someone to fill them out multiple times, experts, 5k for Fish and Game (one of 19 agencies), it just went on and on and in the thousands,” Doe explained.

“After numerous attempts to get a response from the County,” Doe said she heard nothing from the Planning and Building Department about her abatement, until she spoke up at a town meeting in July 2019 at the Mateel Center. After she spoke out at the meeting, John Ford spoke with her on three separate occasions to review her case

“After months of waiting on the County to respond and completing the forest restoration plan for legacy logging,” By , January 23, 2020 Doe was eventually able to permit her cabin and resolve her abatement while paying no administrative penalty in one of three special meetings with John Ford.

Doe said, “I’m out $286,000 because of the abatement.”

Doe filed a claim in March against Humboldt County for reimbursement for her forest restoration work, remedying legacy logging, and “having absolutely no cannabis.” However her claim was denied last week. The County’s Notice of Rejection – Letter of Explanation dated April 2nd, 2020 states,

We have completed our investigation regarding the claim for damages you filed with the clerk of the Board of Supervisors on March 5th, 2020. Based on our investigation, the County’s direction for remediation was to stop cultivating, remove cannabis and related infrastructure, and restore any grading completed to accommodate the cannabis cultivation. The Planning and Building Department staff were not given opportunity in this situation to review the work plan prior to remediation and did not direct the additional work that was undertaken. The County does not enforce requirements of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), so all the costs associated with replacement of culverts are not the result of the County’s direction. Therefore, the County of Humboldt is rejecting your claim with the enclosed notice of rejection. If you have any questions contact the Humboldt County Risk Management Division (707) 268-3669… Warning: Subject to certain exceptions, you have only six (6) months after the date this note was personally delivered or deposited in the mail to file a court action on this claim. See Government Code § 945.6.”

The Planning and Building Department’s instructions on Doe’s Notice to Abate, under “Corrective Action Required” for the grading without a permit violation, reads, “Submit and obtain approval for a restoration plan that restores/revegetates the graded area(s) to pre-violation conditions. Obtain all permits needed for restoration, complete the approved work and pass a final inspection.” Her expert engineer and forester’s restoration plan was stamped by the PBD as “received on May 13, 2019.”

Does says, “We did exactly what they told us to do. We hired experts, finished the restoration plan…There was never a stop sign. We were never told, that once the restoration plan is created we would have a sit down meeting to review it and tell you what we won’t require you to do.  There was never a moment where they said I was doing too much or that the culvert was more than what was required. There was never a discussion that some of the 32 sites were optional. There was no communication period. We were on our own to get through this abatement and the professionals we hired were the ones we followed.  Nobody told us any differently.”

Doe’s husband adds, “I even invited Ford to come out and assess the property,  to clarify the expectations of us before I began the massive culvert project, and he never accepted my offer. At what point did [the Planning and Building Department staff and Director] not have the opportunity to review the restoration plan in our numerous meetings with them, numerous submission of documents along with my invitation to Ford?”

Doe’s remaining option is whether or not to sue the County of Humboldt for reimbursement— that decision is still being determined. Doe emphasized, “I’m not trying to bash John Ford, I think he is a good man in a really [undesirable] position. I think he gets overwhelmed with these horror stories, but I really think he is trying to do right by us to this day. I don’t think everybody gets his attention and I don’t think I would have had I not spoke up at that town hall meeting on July 28th, 2019.”

Cost of clearing abatement itemized

Cost of clearing abatement itemized by Jane Doe. [Click to enlarge]

Late 2019 as the abatement requirements were completed and nearing resolution, yet another deadline was looming for Doe. The cannabis cultivation permit rules were set to change again at the end of 2019, and Doe says she was advised by the Planning and Building Department that, “No one would ever be able to obtain a permit to cultivate cannabis on your land if you don’t apply for a cultivation permit by December 30th, 2019.” She said she “didn’t want to farm cannabis necessarily,” but she had already “done much of the work required to get a permit.” She also took out a mortgage to do this work and was “out $286,000 resulting from the abatement.” When faced with the possibly of no one ever being able to grow cannabis on her land, she submitted her permit application on December 19th, 2019, in hopes to recoup her losses. She explained, “I feel I’m being forced to farm just to get my money back.”

In early 2020, her consultant informed her that she might not get to farm in 2020 because the County hasn’t processed her application in time. He said that she was “at the bottom of the stack.”

Doe said, “My cannabis planner, Liza Welsh, said she would get to my application when she got to it, but not likely in time for us to farm this year.”

Doe, faced with another loss, immediately reached out to Ford to express her disapproval at the lengthy permit process, negating her ability to recoup her losses in a timely manner, “Ford answered the phone, which was a miracle, and he said he would handle it, he got us out of the bottom of the stack… but what about people who don’t have that? I don’t want to get special favors,” Doe professed.

Doe is still going through the cannabis cultivation permit process to this day. In the process of determining how she would afford another investment, she was amazed to be advised by her lender to just “clear cut the property again,” Doe says, “I’ve been waiting 40 years for it to grow back… I could just never log it.”

Vultures circle those impacted by the process. Amidst her most challenging moments enduring the abatement process Doe received two offers to sell her 38 acre property for “quick and easy cash” during the abatement process from an Illinois company called “I Buy Rural Land,” the first offer was for 51k, the second was for 76k.

In the audio interview, Doe explains the cultural impact of legalization and some of the issues that permitted farms are facing today, including vulnerabilities like theft. She tells the story of her getting robbed recently since “going on the map” including the theft of a gun. Doe says, “The [police] would not even come out to investigate. We are on our own.”

Doe finally says, “I feel that we need to have an abatement support group, and I would be happy to facilitate that. People have horror stories and they don’t really have anybody they can talk to about it… I mean people care, but when you’ve been through it, it’s a validating experience to be able to say, yeah, me, too.”

This reporter contacted John Ford and the Planning and Building Department for their comment on this story, Ford states, “It would not be appropriate for me to make any comments on this subject.”

Nichole Norris [email protected]

NOTE: This post was substantially updated to a corrected version of the article at 9:55 a.m.. If anyone needs the earlier version to check against this one, we will provide it.

 

 

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149 comments

  • It’s too bad the local bureacracies have become adversaries. File against them through the the Office of Administrative Hearings.

    https://www.dgs.ca.gov/OAH

    Once a case is filed the local bureacracies can not do anything until it is resolved. Clearly trying to deal with the local government directly is futile.

    • If anyone out there has filed with the OAH concerning any dispute with Humboldt county please contact me and let me know how it is going, or has gone. Did they take the case, were you satisfied with their procedures and actions?

      Thanks,

      ED

      • Little by little our freedoms are being taken away. Self reliance and freedom is the governments true enemy. Comply or die. That’s my new motto. They are installing fear into every aspect of our lives to have us control our selves. Remember, we are imprisoning ourselves as I right this! Lock down. Filling for government handouts,lose of property and homes replaced with camps and cages.We are giving up the one thing that gives us power as a people, as a country…… freedom. Comply or die. Are you afraid?

        • No, I am not afraid, [edit] When an asshole from the govt. starts to fuck with you, why are we taking this? We are not, nor do we have to. We must protest loudly, and fight to keep our way of life. How is it you people can stop logging trucks and destroy equipment, but a piece of shit county punk can fuck with you, and you take it! You wussies let these cowards take your freedoms? Stop! FUCK with them with phone calls. You spend lots of money supporting the crap lab pot, which does not get you high as good purple bud, spend some on a trac phone, and call the stupid fucks all day. edit] They are violating our constitutional rights, they are fucking with us to take us over, and you Humboldt’s let them, They hurt you everyday, stop letting them.

      • triniboldticino

        Class Action, Federal Court, shove Black’s job up his posterior, light it on fire and break it off. Make sure he never works in government again. Seems like that one’s got an agenda.

    • Local agencies have always been adversaries. That’s what you get for voting for democrats.

      • Not me.

        Who are the most powerful people in America?

        https://youtu.be/ZwmUH5AGydQ

      • triniboldticino

        Sure. Wide eyed droolers that would take a dump on your lawn and send you a bill for the fertilizer is who you want to vote for. I’m guessing Black ain’t no Democrat. But it doesn’t really matter, since the issue isn’t political, it’s legal. But I’m happy to roll around in the stink of lies with you if that’s what you’d like. America is screwed for at least the next 7 or 8 months, maybe longer.

    • This can be stopped but it means taking these people into federal court and exposing them and the local governments for their actions and what precisely is their reasons for doing it. Prop 64 was a con from the start and if we do nothing it’s only going to get worse.

      Visit us at 151farmers.org and go to the Canna-Greed story, section 12C. We’re currently in the 9th circuit Federal court charging the City of San Diego under anti-trust laws and RICO.

      You won’t get a federal court to hear the cannabis side of our arguments but under 42 U.S.C. 1983 they must decide if the local governments actions are constitutionally correct. And just like what you have going on in Humboldt right now, the corruption, fraud and theft is systemic up and down the state.

      The time to act is now! Prop 64 was and is unconstitutional and under Res Judicata we can get that ruling in a federal court than march it straight into a state court to establish damages and help stop the travesty that has rolled over us during the last 3+ years of control, tax and regulate.

    • If theres no pot there what are so worried about that what the notice says right get rid of it or were going to take your property if you have no weed then i would not even worrie about it simple as that

  • In times like this where lots of people are out of work and the government wants you to stay in you may as well grow some weed. Fuck the county . Do what you have to do.

    • Of the people, by the people, for the people

      I have to upgrade my culvert under my drive way loop to accommodate a 100 year storm. Its 10 feet long and 8 inches wide, works fine. The CDFW inspector was a humorless fellow with a napoleon complex, it was a delight to have him walk around my place. Towards the end of it all he started explaining how and when I could use heavy equipment. That’s when I smiled and laughed at him and said this whole this is a bureaucratic joke, I dont shit gold bricks, and I’m going to use a pick and shovel. I explained that it’s going to cost me over $7,000, 2 years, and a bunch of my time to replace a $150 piece of pipe. I smiled and shrugged. He didnt smile in the least and said making safeguards to protect the environment shouldn’t be taken lightly. I asked if the failed culverts under Alderpoint Rd would be repaired before my driveway will be required to be repaired. He didnt have an answer for that. Again I laughed and said that when the 100 year storm hits next winter, parts of 101 and half the roads in the county will be washed out, but at least I’ll be able to safely drive in circles on my driveway cuz I sure as hell wont be able to drive down the hill. Again he didnt crack a smile.
      Planning department has had terrible communication with me throughout all my time working with them. No other way to put it.
      A friend of mine not in the cannabis industry got jerked around over permitting a shipping container house. She started recording all of her conversations with the planning department and playing them back so they could hear their own contradictions. She told me at one point, John Ford was talking a bunch of shit about the “cannabis people” and didnt seem to really care.

      • “”The CDFW inspector was a humorless fellow with a napoleon complex, it was a delight to have him walk around my place. “”

        This, for those who know, its so true, so funny it hurts. Its hard to believe that this guy is the face for CDFW. Professionalism? Common sense? Cooler heads prevailing? Ah…no. These people have become so blinded in their zeal to make every private road meet these pretty esoteric standards for some potential flood that all reason has gone out the window. A a consultant who has prepared uncountable LSAs, I have observed countless of perfectly fine (functional) culverts, many of which were installed under previous permits (THPs) or prior to the laws requiring 100y flow being ripped out just because they are a foot or two smaller than the model of 100y storm flows. Guess what, if there is a actual widespread 100y flood event, these culverts are the least of our worries.

        These agents of CDFW have no real concept of impacts, or how failure and sedimentation even works in north coast watersheds. So they gleefully wring their hands and force people to put gigantic culverts in places that really do not need them, which creates a disturbance in the creek from grading that otherwise would never have occurred. Most of the time, these larger culverts require all kinds of fill to be imported to raise road grades to even accommodate the new pipes. Its ridiculous, and its not helping the environment in most cases, its wagging the dog. Its about fees, image, and ego. And it shows, their lack of knowledge and overt bias, in their adversarial approach and extreme defensiveness if questioned.

  • Its obvious that the Safe Home amnesty they are offering is a trap. What about greenhouses? Does anyone have experience permitting non-cannabis greenhouses? Is that a trap as well?

  • “nothing short of a terrorist attack”

    Really?

    I’m no fan of any of the recent “legalization” bullshit, but it doesn’t sound to me like this woman has been attacked by terrorists.

    • Terrorist isn’t the right word, extortionists is. I’ve been saying for a while that a group of people needs to go around the county and take pictures of every thing on government land or right of way that is the same violations for private people and combine them and sue the county for several billion dollars. Every pice of trash, every failing or failed culvert, every landslide that’s been neglected, every where you drive across flowing water. It’s only fair it should work both ways. 10,000$ a day for every violation the county has

      • Safe Home Act. We take your income than Install non legal outrageous extortion rules that you will never be able to uphold therefor losing your home to us so we can sell it for a profit!

    • Glenn Franco Simmon

      Economic strangulation by bureaucracy.

    • If they terrorize people on a regular basis, they’re terrorists. Everything in this womans description of her experience is spot on. Who the fuck are you to try fixing her vocabulary?

      • You’re right. How dare I have an opinion?

        There is no terrorism here. Using that word with regard to this situation undermines the credibility of everything that follows.

        Why not throw in “nazi” and “facist” to complete the over reach?

        The abatement process is heavy handed but it isn’t terrorism.

        Is the truth that you’re just pissy about no longer being able to “rape” the land in an act of “ecoterrorism” without repercussions? (See how your little game of labeling people “terrorists” can be played both ways?)

        • No you’re being ignorant. This woman details how her family went through a long experience of being terrorised by our planning dept. You have no examples of me being an ecoterrorist, and you just decided to throw the name calling around based on your bigoted idea of what a local farmer is.

          Big difference.

          • Terrorized and terrorist have vastly deferent definitions.[Edit: Just knock it off}

          • The Humboldt County government supported military attack last year on top of the abatement program was also not acceptable. I don’t know how people feel amidst a terrorist attack, but this long-lasting attack on back-to-the-lander culture here could certainly be called terrorism. You have to live under the satellites and choppers to understand how it feels. When the weaponized military choppers were hoovering over my homestead last year, my family grabbed our go-bags and felt the need to flee our home as fast as possible because we have a fruit and vegetable greenhouse. It was terrifying, especially for our baby. I dont know what you call a family fleeing in total panic and terror of being attacked for growing their own food, but it felt like terrorism to me. The scares imprinted in my child’s memory from this attack is one of terrorism.

            • Military attack? Wow! That’s news to me. I can’t believe I missed it.

              How many casualties? Dead? Injured? How many shots fired?

              • In my 1911 I trust

                In other countries military style choppers circling over ones property is cause for alarm. People do flee when they see that, almost all over the world. Why are you so complacent as to be ok with something that clearly isn’t ok?

                • He doesn’t own land or farm anything and hates and trashes farmers. He likes that people are being harassed and terrorized for growing an herb. He’s what you could call a hater. Haters are losers who hate seeing anybody be successful.

              • What would you call it when law enforcement went into Hayfork and threw flash bangs into the local Hmong store? There is video footage of that filmed by citizens watching in horror as it’s taking place.

        • To Seeing Stars. The right to have an opinion is confused by some as a license to have a stupid one. Won’t you see the big picture? This is a long delayed campaign to punish the hippy homesteaders for coming here and getting away with it. It is Eureka’s revenge – served up by the Arkley gang: led by Bass and Bohn, The “I heart Eureka” Kids, a project that – a la Arkley – taught people how not to give to the undeserving poor – a tautology for the Kids and their ally Estelle Fennell.
          The agenda of revenge is a popular one among local conservative and liberals alike – environmentalists and developers share the same middle class status as their supervisors. But I think it doesn’t hurt to have our own “millionaire” blowing off steam against welfare poor and demanding more cops. Did he get his wish with Measure S? The homeless are hunted like crocodiles and there’s plenty of cops – a deputy’s salary starts at a hundred thou.
          The faithful tool in all this attempt to exterminate the homesteader culture,( and then maybe pick it up again to kick when the people are homeless) is John Ford who understands exactly what the agenda is that was handed to him with the job. There is no housing gushing from the Planning bureaucracy. And as to eradicating the almost non-existent counter-culture,F ord is currently tracking homesteads qua homesteads and staring down toilets. This revengeful agenda must be abandoned and then Ford can find another job with a recommendation: “Good at what he does.”

          • That is an oversimplification.. nice try though. We have some very prominent conservatives profiting in the green rush/ homesteader culture also. You can squint hard enough and see this thing through any lens you want, but I think the easiest explanation is the best; they (the county) found a way to bring in loads of money from low hanging easy fruit. A lot of things came together at the right time: legalization, sat imagery, greenrusher explosion. Not much more to it than that.

          • Mr. Encimer is right. [edit: Please don’t threaten or imply violence.] John Ford, you hurt people. You arrogant son of a bitch, You will stop the spy satellite and abatement letters immediately. You will stop hurting people and fucking with us. Because you fuck head Ford, as you hurt people, you are behaving in a way that goes against the teachings of Jesus. Whose favorite people are the poor, and the working poor. Whatever you do to the least of our people, you do unto me. I’m going to figure He may not be happy with you, not a good place to be John, not good at all.

    • (I like stars) What would you call it then? When a weaponized planning department, with institutionalized discrimination toward the cannabis community, does an abatement sweep the way they have? It appears that they didn’t take the time to “fact check” who had 215 gardens and who didn’t. You can minimize the impact of this program on these people’s lives all you want…after all it is your opinion. However, YOU didn’t experience what they did and clearly have no compassion for people in this position.

      • I think “let’s be honest” summed this particular situation up pretty well in the comment later in this thread.

  • We live in a totalitarian fascist country

    Forget about justice

    Forget about liberty

    And all that money your gonna make growing weed wont matter because guess what the whole worlds going IMF crypto

    Your benjamins are so yesterday

  • This is a very sad story . I’d say humboldt is forever changed. Its become a dark sad depressing place. I’d suggest moving from this black hole before you get swallowed. It used to be fun here now it’s a drug filled garbage dump. I’d say someone should contact the governor but he’s in on this and helped to create the problem .

  • “Doe said she felt her application for the Safe Homes program triggered her abatement.” I agree.

    The 35-40 years when the Father controlled the decisions on the land, sounds like nobody made any waves. There was sound reasoning involved. Don’t attract attention.

    Thinking that applying for benefits would keep the land below the scrutiny of the “New Breed” of County Employees set off an alarm, downtown. Their job is not to help but rather, to hinder. Dad understood this.

  • Crooked local government and they’re really doing nothing to stop the illegal grows on public land, but if they can extort money from legal landowners they’ll be posting, clearing and mulching your shit up in a hot second. They’re criminals like Trump and they getting wealthy like he did, by bleeding the poor and working people dry.

  • like I have said before this is Code Enforcement 2.0. 1.0 which occurred between 2003 and 2010 didn’t end well for the Code Enforcement Department. The enforcement leader Richard Hendry ended up fleeing to Florida to avoid professional liability civil action. I don’t see any difference between then and now. One could assume that John Ford has already racked up some professional liability that is not covered under his public employee protection and just like before and I am sure no one in the County is going to explain it to him because he is not a local. I foresee this mess ending the same way the previous mess ended. I have noticed over the last 20 years that the County always thinks they are invincible even though they always lose. as always it will require a law firm that has zero ties to Northern California.

    • Glenn Franco Simmons

      Although I like Tom Conlon and he did a good job in Arcata, remember the fiasco in the late 1980s? It affected him, too. The planning and building dept. has always been haphazard. Too bad there isn’t an inspector general for the county of Humboldt, esp. planning/bldg.

  • This would be an injustice if Jane Doe did not end up with a cultivation license from the county. The fact that she is now legally growing means that all of that work (100-year storm culverts, timber conversion evaluations, etc.) was indeed required as it is for every other cannabis applicant. However, her project was fast-tracked by John Ford meaning she is in a much more favorable position than the other applicants who paid for all of the same reports and are still waiting for their applications to be processed, as well as the abatement recipients who paid fines and cleanup fees but still cannot cultivate legally. Seems to me that the decision to do this interview was a hasty one. Shame about the robbery though. I hope no one loses life as a result of that gun not being secured in a safe when no one was home.

    • Lol, you clearly don’t comprehend what happened. She never applied for a license. This was an abatement notice and she didn’t have any pot growing.

  • How much of the headline money amount actually went to the County?

    • If you look at the abatement breakdown, you can probably make a good guess.

      • I see $232,000 is just a projected loss of wages, correct?

        I found the article hard to read.

        It may be my lack of interest, or something else.

        But isn’t it more a case of a headline like, “Attempted cannabis cultivation permitting cost $50,000, after abatement notice was levied against my property”?

        The click to enlarge isn’t working for me.

        But I don’t see $1.00 going to the County in the breakdown.

        • Bingo

        • About $750 abatement fees.

          • Pretty minor.

            This article headline is misleading, to be honest.

            • The landowner didn’t suffer those losses?

              • The husband could have gone to work and they would have “suffered” less.

                The owners chose to go through the permitting process, costing them more.

                At an exaggerated income of 200k every half year, the 50k investment seems trivial.

                But, if they are being honest about not farming 1 year of their life (2019), and the abatement was not accurate, then essentially no one reading this knows what that process would cost to fight.

                Could it have been as low as $750 to prove they weren’t growing if they had chosen to do that?

              • If they were looking to use their land for new purposes, especially a commercial one with a whole bunch of rules, then “weeding” a poorly executed road, even if they did not cut it (which they did re-grade) was always going to be an issue. I have an “old logging road” at my place too but it can only be seen in parts because it is totally overgrown. Trees, shrubs and grass. In most if it, I only discovered it by hitting a layer of gravel when digging fence post holes at 2 feet down. When I built my place, I put in a new road as part of the permitting process.

                Refusing to understand is not the same thing as being innocent. Although a whole lot of people seem to think it is. The property owner thinks that saying she did not create the problem means that she should still be able to take advantage of it. “Officer I was not speeding in my tank on the freeway” does not mean that mean that is ok to routinely drive a tank on the freeway.

                As for the county not responding, document you followed through and let sleeping dogs lie. That is practical advice, not what should happen. But you have to recognize a victory even when no one announces it.

                • I want folks to understand that only 71.8% (of 970) abatements are “resolved” according to an foi request I received yesterday, 48.3% without a penalty. Most people who got an abatement do not know what it will actually cost unless they signed a compliance agreement (23.5% typically paying “a one day fine” of ~$20k or more). Doe did not sign a compliance agreement, she worked down her penalties over time with a lot of work and at great risk to herself, hence the lower total there.
                  I dont think it’s a victory for anyone to need to receive special favors. We are all in this together. Her struggle is real, the risks, the loss, the stress so many feel in this community is real, permitted or not, people are struggling. Those who don’t sign the compliance agreement are waiting in limbo for years with 20k or more daily fines accruing as far as they are aware.
                  There are only 6 abatement hearings that are in process on the foi request I just received on the matter (though I’ve heard Bob Russell say ~12). Several abatement recipients were asked for 435k in their hearings, another 150k, one 88k but worked it down to 59k and it’s being appealed now, as many are. So yes it is very stressful for folks in this situation, that is a huge loss. I really look forward to the county responding on this matter so we can all have more information and realize humane solutions.

                • FanOfGuest

                • The county not responding means that it is your failure to comply with there time line of abatement. Thats the best part they goast you, and that means the you are guilty of all violations. If it is not there documenting it is not for real, because if it was they would have it documented…… They don’t want to fine violations but they are good at there job and enjoy there work. But they don’t want to.

          • Ed will make more money than the County from this couple.

            The exaggerated lost wages is nuts.

            Anyone with equipment knows the time between work including maintenance, repairs, travel, etc.

            Even if it’s not a huge exaggerated number, it is a gross pay situation, not net.

            So much misleading information in this story.

            • Brian, stay over in Trinity County with your opinions. You have no idea of the history of Humboldt County Code Enforcement and the weaponizing of this dept at least 2 or 3 times over the past 40 years. When this happens most rural Humboldt landowners regardless of weed are threatened with bankruptcy. You like to be right and sound smug, on this topic your ignorance and smugness shines.

              • 970 abatements is not “most rural Humboldt land owners”.

                Abatements stink.

                But so do growers.

                Everybody is playing their cards.

                And this article stinks.

                It should be headlined as;

                “I spent 50k to get permitted after being abated, so I’m on par for most permitting processes”

                • “Some growers” stink.

                  Not all.

                  I think JB is a good example. The kemp farm is also another likely good example.

                  Theres good growers, legal and not.

                  To be clear.

                • Your bigoted opinions stink TRB. How convenient for you that you get to Troll what’s happing in Humboldt from the Safety of your armchair in Trinity county, where they have not largely enacted such draconian measures..

                  This is a good article, and it stinks no less than your lousy opinions. Your better off sticking to your flimsy googled statistics, and Mainstream Corporate Media buzz lines you constantly spew on a daily basis..

                  • Hey, everyone. Take a deep breath. Three weeks of Sheltering and we’re all doing okay. But let’s not chew on each other.

                  • I didn’t need google to read the cost breakdown.

                    $750 to the County.

                    What?

                    And some of California’s most beautiful mountainous areas have been topped and leveled for black market capitalism.

                    Then legalization happened.

                    It’s not 1972 anymore SF. People are growing more than 8 plants.

                    • It’s not 1972 anymore TRB? Did Google tell you that too? Brilliant…

                      Legalization happened and guess what.. even more Beautiful California Mountain tops were leveled.. for guess who.. For the “Legal” growers your defending who went even bigger and largely expanded their grows, and put up brightly light green houses in plain sight of a once dark and peaceful drive. Guess Google forgot to mention that Huh?

                      You don’t need google to Explain that this “legalization” scam from the county is straight Mental!

                      But you keep hypocritically trolling People from the safety of your Trinity County Sanctuary, where you most likely won’t receive such letters over small grows, like the folks in Humboldt have…

                    • Well gee, have a good night.

              • Ok Guest, then let’s not hear any opinion from you that concerns anything OUTSIDE of Humboldt County because it’s likely you don’t understand what is going on. See how that works?

            • ED’s the most affordable lawyer in Humboldt County and a badass!

              • Some of Ed’s work I respect.

                He seems like a good guy.

                It’s not an insult that I said that, it’s likely a fact.

                This particular case seems junky to me.

  • Burnt Roach (new handle)

    I believe Rover’s comment above is correct. When someone receives an abatement notice they need to file to preserve their rights for due process. They are allowed, under the law, to a hearing to determine if the notice has merit. Very few people these days bother to learn much about the law, and they are sucked in to the bureaucratic world of these people, who would rather turn you out on the street than settle the violation in a more suitable manner.

  • There must have been some weed there somewhere…

    You have the right to attempt to manipulate the legal system, like any other citizen.

    Good luck with that.

  • [edit: If you are willing to offer proof, then you can post this.]

    Don’t want to burst her anonymity bubble but it was pretty easy to do. Abatements are posted by Times Standard. only one from march 2019 had those violations AND an active permit for 10,000sqft submitted on december 19. look up that parcel and you will see 20,000 sqft of cultivation in 2018. Like I said, “not a stick” my @&$

    • Thank you! For every poor oppressed innocent there are several straight up liars trolling for sympathy. The people I know best who got abated were going balls out and saying ‘Fuck the County’. They took a gamble which had usually paid off for the last 40 years but not this time. They spent several days cleaning up. The one whose details I know best had to spend about $1000 and grew less last year. I am not saying the County regs are good or that the legal mega-growers are not POSs, just that most people were playing the game and are sad they got caught. Once again the point was made that the logging companies did the damage ages ago, that is why they got cheap land. Well perhaps cheap land is not so cheap in the long run and they should have tended to it more over the years. One of my tasks for this afternoon is to put more fuel load reduction logs into the ancient logging related gully.
      I specifically do not trust Shakti to vet who are oppressed and who are scammers, and would like to see the original article still published too so we can see just how wrong her supposed final products are.

      • I’m happy to send it to you. However, there was not a substantial change in any facts. She just wrote a final draft after what I thought was her final draft and I missed it. So this is just a more cleaned up version. However, there were enough changes that I couldn’t explain them all easily like I normally would when I update. So I just offered to send the first piece published to anyone who is concerned. My email address is [email protected].

      • (re: Can fool most)
        First- it takes enormous courage to speak out like Doe did. The abatement program itself is new and there are clearly some flaws that need to be addressed. Until people speak out about their experiences that wont happen. We all owe Doe a lot of gratitude for her bravery.
        Second – I dont think it’s wise to generalize people as you are doing. Its dangerous because it leads to excusing inhumane programs of all sorts. Doe is a really wonderful human being who experienced something really shocking. She deserves support.
        Third- I’m not sure why you are so upset. To clarify my intention is to help the community become aware of this program’s impact in reality. This story is not unusual, yet you’d never know that because for the past couple of years the community hasn’t heard from the victims of these policies, only the policy makers perspective. Trust me, I wish I could just grow my own food and relax with my family right now through this pandemic, but I’m working around the clock instead. Why? Because when I see injustice I have to do my part to resolve it, that is my nature. Everyone is different obviously. I wish you the best on your own path and celebrate your uniqueness. I hope you can learn to do the same for others.
        Fourth- I encourage you to try to write an over three thousand word article, with outcomes changing as you are writing it, and not have minor corrections. If you can, you should consider serving your community through writing because that’s really impressive.

      • what about the people you didn’t know best? What kind of crowd are you hanging out with?

      • I bet no weed bust this year how could law enforcement they are going to be to scared

    • (Cant fool me) Please explain where you get 20k sq ft from. I have reviewed every image available on Humboldt County’s GIS system for this parcel and reviewed imagery from the restoration plan dating back to 1998. As Doe said there is no significant change after the logging legacy. Her permit square footage is a small fraction of 20k sq ft as well. So I’m not sure where you are getting 20k sq ft from, but again I will remind folks that it is really dangerous to generalize and make assumptions. Just imagine we are talking strawberries, maybe that will help you to see the issue more clearly. Just because she had a medical cannabis garden at some point in time, does not mean that she always had cannabis, it’s an annual crop obviously. I have seen evidence proving everything Doe said is true, including not a stick of cannabis upon receiving the abatement etc. Please forward the proof for your allegation to [email protected] and I will gladly correct myself if I made a mistake.

      • 2004

        • You are looking at the overgrown legacy logging here, this is the fire hazard mentioned, brush clearing, firewood etc.

        • Doe was incredibly forthcoming about what was done and for what reasons with the PBD and in the audio. See minute marker 4:49 and 10 where she explains that the clearings are old grown-over logging roads that had not been used for over a decade. Until we have an alternative to automobiles I think you’d agree that its important to have roads, right? They also did brush clearing and tree-thinning for forest health, fire prevention, firewood and to open up the cabin and parking area for safety. Look at the texture of the greenery covering the unused road, its compacted, overgrown brush and small packed-in trees. Those are disease provoking and unsafe conditions that are not ideal according to a variety of experts.

          I’m really glad you raised this issue though because it illustrates one of the flaws in using satellite imagery-its incredibly limited. What you cant tell from the satellite is a beautiful, fire safe homestead in the wake of a clear cut. On the ground you see an unsustainable overgrown forest and logging roads restored, brush and slash piles (left over from logging) removed. It looks like a lot of hard work and love went into the property, it appears to be beneficial to the environment, Doe’s experts even agreed. The County is incorrect about the 20k sq ft according to her experts as well. Although 20k sq ft is still quite small next to say a 7 acre farm (305k sq ft).

          That is another issue I’m glad you raised. This is not about cannabis plants in particular “harming the environment” it’s about having a piece of paper to legally grow it, as Doe has. There is no difference to the environment between permitted farms and unpermitted farms and this is a great example of that. In fact scholarly studies have been published on this matter which found Best Management Practices are actually compromised by legalization, not encouraged by it.

          Doe was entirely upfront about her 215 medical garden in years past (not 2019). The issue here is not a garden on an old logging deck, it’s whether you have a permit to use it. Marijuana mania aside I see a beautiful garden offering an ecosystem for wildlife and a well-loved family homestead that is safer from fire than it was in previous years. I see someone “using the lay of the land as it had been damaged by the logging company,” and satellite-based “assumptions being made that are incorrect.”

      • 2018

        • what is that 100 plants? Whats your point? Beautiful if you ask me. This isn’t a game to people honey, we are talking about their lives.

        • (Can’t fool me) Really??? Aerial photos to prove a point that Doe had cannabis on her land in 2018? Doe was open about having a 215 garden in the past, and admitted to clearing the old roads, but maybe like Warren Black you don’t acknowledge 215 existed at that time!! The issue was “at the time of the abatement in March of 2019 there weren’t any plants in the ground. Where are those aerial photos? You have the vibe of a trolling bureaucrat with easy access to Humboldts spyware program and you can’t stand that the bureaucrats are being called out? Or maybe you enjoy being a hater of anyone involved with cannabis? Warren Black told my buddy he was a farmer at one point, then ended up on welfare and that’s how he got his job…said he was bulletproof too. How is it not a conflict of interest to have a failed farmer monitoring rural property owners? What a joke!

      • Queen to bishop six, check

      • let's be honest

        Sure, maybe there wasn’t “one stick of cannabis” on the property when the abatement letter was posted (in what, March?). If no abatement, my guess it would have been cultivated again, come May. It is plain to see that the ground was cultivated the prior year (note ground covered in potting soil and lacking vegetation), and as supported by the satellite image “Can’t fool me” provided. You can also see fairly substantial fresh spoil (dirt) piles in the photo. And the statement about a 48″ x 60′ culvert installation costing $100K is ridiculous and overblown (I’ve been working on heavy equipment projects for over 15 years. That cost estimate isn’t even close to realistic). I’m all for speaking up against tyranny but in this case, the landowners were clearly cultivating without a county permit and the county responded, in this case, reasonably. The person writing this article (and Nicole) appear to either be ignorant or disingenuous, perhaps with an agenda. Glad at least someone else here cared to call a spade a spade (“Can’t fool me”) instead of ranting and raging.

        • That’s a great idea!! Let’s be honest and acknowledge that the county bureaucrats operate on speculation and assumption, just like you are🤔, and aren’t willing to admit when they are wrong!! And clearly you haven’t done your homework or researched the cost of hiring out the 100 year flood culvert. More than one consultant for permitted farmers have thrown out that number for people who don’t have the knowledge or the equipment to do it themselves, yes it’s absolutely crazy how expensive that is and completely unreasonable, and yet these are the bureaucratic expectations and requirements.

  • ” Vultures circle those impacted by the process. Amidst her most challenging moments enduring the abatement process Doe received two offers to sell her 38 acre property for “quick and easy cash” during the abatement process from an Illinois company called “I Buy Rural Land,” the first offer was for 51k, the second was for 76k.”

    I’m thinking it’s a shell corp for the Bulgarian syndicate.

    • I believe it is also. I live next door to a Bulgarian Kingpin. He has purchased at least a dozen neighbor’s properties that I know of. 4100 wilder ridge road is notorious for 16,000 pound bust on 11/28/2018 and the horrible lab explosion fire and death on 11/27/2019. Three people were severely burned one died on month later. The property next door to us is owned by a shell company in New Jersey while the cannabis permit is under the name of a company south of Chicago. Hey no problem the county has been busy permitting multiple properties of theirs under fictitious names and the supervisors have been informed and do nothing. The County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Department knowing this person is under investigation by the Sheriff and Federal agencies moved the permit to Honeydew under the county’s R.R.R. program. Consequentially, forcing neighbors to move.

      • The Bulgarians got their foothold during the Sheriffs Departments Greenrush. After making their millions illegally they are entrenched and gaming the “legal” scene.
        Everyone knows the whole legalization “game” in Humboldt is a complete joke. Everyone is working their own angle, legally or illegally or a mix of the two. The Planning Department and the BOS are in so far over their heads they don’t know whether they’re coming or going. They’re inconsistent, and I suspect poorly staffed. What a shit show, from the greenrush up till now.

        • You heard John Ford at the Mateel. The planning department is only concerned if the land meets the criteria and is used in accordance with the permit applied for. They don’t have a say in “who” applies for permits.
          And then Honsal chimes in with “I cant comment on ongoing investigations “. Its ongoing for ever and wont be resolved because HCSO lacks the competency to handle organized crime. Sorry about the burden you live next to.

      • Same old story, it’s all about the money.

      • I think I may be that neighbor who was “forced to move” – for the record, I moved because I could not handle living next door to the semi-legal, industrial farm owned by a “local” who is business partners with the son of a county supervisor. I was not “forced to move” because of “Bulgarians” – I was forced to move by wannabe good old boys. Please don’t use my situation to justify your xenophobia.

  • There ought to be a game show based on who spins the same information the fastest in the direction they prefer because that is exactly what this dog and pony article is.

  • Want a play, ya gotta pay. Simple.

    • Black Rifles Matter

      Nope. Not true.

      • ….rifles is right. You just have to be smarter than the board of supervisors and sheriffs. Adapt and change. Been my motto for decades. When I was a teenager a had to hike miles to grow in the shade! Work hard, don’t have multiple partners, stay away from tweekers and Potstitutes and don’t piss off your fellow land owner neighbors. No, you don’t have to pay extortionists to succeed in the “game.” Besides it’s called a game for a reason. Learn to play it, and you’ll win every time.

  • [EDIT Since the name you are using will cause confusion]

    This jane doe lady sounds like she doesn’t want to be responsible for her own choices.

    First of all, if you buy legacy logging properties and decide to change the land use away from logging and then use it for a house then you need to bring that property up to code.

    The logging roads are allowed to be in bad condition because they are rarely used in an actual timber harvest plan. If you rebuild a house that never had permits you still need to obtain new permits.

    It sounds like this person was living on a Timber parcel with no 3 acre AG conversion?

    Also, its there fault for hiring all the lawyers and consultants, if you just did your own homework you should of been able to navigate through this without the help of consultants.

    Consultants thrive on taking advantage of landowners who do not know enough about land development.

    Also claiming that it is the county’s fault that your husband did not get to work his job is bogus!
    The cost of your abatement was in reality: $53,309.00

    Witch is more in line with what a rural timber piece costs to get licensed.

    This is just more confused people complaining because they were violating the rules and avoiding taking responsibility for there land all these years.

    Also, why does this person think they were not cultivating while they admit they were cultivating in 2016.
    Even if you are no longer growing you still have the legacy issues associated with your cultivation.

    Also it sounds like your husband has a great job, witch is more than most can say! Therefore making $1400 dollars a day, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with the money to fix your land!

    • Did Doe buy the property? No- so Im not sure why you are blaming her for “deciding” to own logging legacy land. Is $53,309 not a lot of money, especially for something that you didnt do? If you got a speeding ticket for $53,309 while you were going the speed limit would that be ok? Her husband missed out on that job because of the pressing timeline and 20k DAILY fines, maybe it was the first opportunity he had doing that work? Doe didn’t “violate the rules.” Prop 215 still exists and she didnt have cannabis when she received the abatement so yes, the fact that she had a medical garden is irrelevant. I suppose the County could potentially charge you for an old car you had on your property years ago that has since been moved too. Legacy issues? The legacy issues were from logging and that is the issue here. There were no environmental issues from past cultivation. Growing plants in the devastation of clear cuts can serve ecosystems.

  • Kym,

    Sorry to ask, but I’m in a glitch matrix.

    Can you delete my 3 tests. I tried and failed.

  • Big Ol' Jar of Pickles

    This does not surprise me in the least! Last year we received notice that that planning commission was changing our land use designation. When we bought the house (7 years ago) it was zoned, “commercial, residential, recreational” It was a very positive thing that made our land more valuable to a larger number of buyers AND it gave us the option of owning a business. They complained that we made the request to change it to residential. I asked to see the request and it as dated 22 years ago!!!. Yes, 1998!!! This is an example of how efficient the planning commission has become. Such a crock!

    • Glenn Franco Simmons

      Planning Dept. and efficiency have never been synonymous. Planning dept. and competence have never been synonymous.

  • Sometimes the people that are employed by our taxes forget what “public service” means.

    • Yes it’s sad they are forcing the good people out and turning a blind eye to well funded out of the area criminals to set up in our rural areas with no oversite.
      I’m also very uncomfortable with the eye in the sky watching us and all our actions. This seems very un American to me.
      I have some sympathy for this individual, but to be honest, there’s nothing out of the ordinary here. The same struggle many have had. It can be tough running an underground business. Robberies, cops, now the biggest challenge: planning dept! You make the good money, you face the challenges.
      The fact is, the risk and reward ratio is getting too skewed for many smart people around here, and they are getting into more normal routines in life, while shady llc’s are taking over the industry leaving trashed properties, out of town workers, pit bulls, hard drugs. Thanks to everyone who voted in prop 64.

  • Day of reckoning is coming

    Interesting to see when next Great Depression hits in the next 6-12 months and all real estate values are cut down drastically how many land owners will file to have their property taxes reduced??? I guarantee you the county won’t volunteer that your over paying but you will be indeed. If everyone stood up and went through that process to have taxes reduced it might put the county on their toes and make them realize that by terrorizing all the land owners the past few years it has created a bubble that has busted. How many small businesses are going to survive the aftermath of the virus?? Even those still standing, are we expecting people to flood back into restaurants and bars just because they open but no one has extra money to spend on luxury items? All that combined with 3 cannabis facilities that equal a total of 33 acres of state of the art greenhouses are about to open in the Sacramento area this spring and countless more in SoCal will lead to a crushing blow to cannabis industry up here. Especially the small farmers and rural land owners. Sad to say but numbers were already down substantially from previous years for restaurants and bars etc. before this virus hit and now even once allowed to open again it will not be pretty. The permitting process is brutal for people that are trying to be farmers and has drained so many pocket books that I have a hard time seeing a recovery and instead see dark times ahead over the next 3-4 years with a lucky few left standing and the county wishing they had done more to keep this counties cash registers full. Instead they will be empty and In turn property values plummet even more and the county loses millions in lost revenue they were expecting from the over charged sqft tax $ and property taxes.

  • John Ford is a good man? In what way?

  • Where the heck is this property anyways????????

  • Change is hard

  • Thanks Estelle.

  • I have been working with the County Planning & Building since 2008, to resolve problems with a TPZ parcel in violation due to multiple and perceived ownership (Legacy Issues). At the time, abatements were addressing un-permitted structures, illegal grading, junk cars, and egregious grows. It has not been cheap, but not everything was required to be completed at once. It is a process. We voluntarily entered the process and have had nothing but nice things to say about the ‘Civil Servants’ employed there. Their guidance has been greatly appreciated. It is not their fault that you do not understand zoning and land-use ordinances. They are there to help you; the same is true of anyone at the courthouse.

    Educate yourself and become familiar with the details of the property you own.

    Heads-up: Many parcels in Humboldt County are being re-zoned as Agricultural, making Residential Uses secondary. It does not matter how long your ‘neighborhood’ has existed, if it does not have a RCC (Rural Community Center) it’s now slated to be AG. This means that your Grasshole neighbor will be able to run generators and provide ‘Farm Labor’ housing, trailer parks, dog kennels, etc. and this new zone will cure the ‘nuisances’ in your neighborhood. It will also enable the Timber Industry to re-zone and sub-divide for future development.

    You must do the work yourself, unless you can pay for an over-priced consultant, who usually gets it wrong anyway.

  • Glenn Franco Simmons

    Bureaucracy out of control. This is worse than the assault on homesteaders in the late 1980s. The Board of Supervisors should be ashamed. As an aside, do any board members or planning dept. employees own land outside of cities? If so, are those properties in compliance?

  • Quote from Additional Fees accrued for the LSA 1600 application:

    “My point being that if we had to hire this out it would have bankrupted us, but instead ‘blank’ lost his union wages of owner/operator…”

    There were no ‘lost’ wages he made the decision to turn his back on that job to do another one.

    Had he taken the job in Paradise and received the $232,400 he could have paid $77,000 to someone else to do the work at the property and still be $155,400 ahead for 6 months of work in Paradise. Hardly bankrupted.

  • I had also received an abatement letter early December of 2018 I had no marijuana on my property all hoop houses had been taken down prior to that all that was left was dirt! after having a
    Consultant out to our property and had signed off on a restoration plan and we complied with that…our Consultant then sent pictures to Warren black and an email asking if there was anything more to be done? No response…our Consultant send yet another follow up email asking if there was anything more that we could do to be in compliance with our abatement yet… still no response….Four months later we received another abatement we were quite confused? … seeing how as we had done everything that we were asked of bye our consultant and still it was not enough? the only thing that we were missing was a picture of a newspaper and that was why we received a second abatement! had nothing to do with the fact that we had already sent email after email after email showing what we had done and no response! We forwarded Warren black the emails that we had sent more than once asking if there was anything more we could do 4 months prior and…his response was “ oh I was to busy!” It then took took 2 more months to release us of our dirt Abatement! And a nice administration fee? Which I still don’t understand? If you are a tax payer aren’t you essentially helping these people get paid to do there jobs? And then basically pay them again to put a notice on your gate which is also there job so…. Essentially aren’t you paying twice?🤔just food for thought! And also should you really have to pay a fine for no Marijuana on your property?🤷‍♀️Confused a bit and apparently not the only one? Another thing that confused me was the state water board wanting to come and walk my property after the fact of there being no marijuana and everything being torn completely off my land and getting harassed by them wanting to see our Arrogation system’s for our marijuana plants? After we had sent Numerous pictures to them showing that we had nothing going on on our property and still they harassed us! I Firmly told them that I was not OK with them coming onto our property and roaming around and eventually they left us alone….But others that were near by and had excepted to let them onto their property got fucked with fine after fine after fine from them!!! I’m so glad that I held my ground and did not let them on my property just to fuck with us further for no reason really!!!! You want to say make humble great again!? well you need to stop Picking on the people that Don’t need to be picked on! and maybe run a bunch of [edit] out of here because they are the ones that are doing the true damage and not us little hippies that have a plant or two here and there!! Really that’s what would make “Humboldt great again!”

    • A perfect example of what is really happening to rural property owners in Humboldt. So sorry this happened to you.

  • Liberty and justice for all

    Wow, this county has become a place to run from!!!! Lived here my whole life and never wanted to leave until this last couple years. What an unfortunate turn of events these current politicians have stolen our lives from us.having us live in fear of ILLEGAL UNCONSTITUTIONAL extortion!!!!!!!
    Cant believe that people went and voted the way they did,or not at all. This community has truly been destroyed. I hope people start suing the crap outta the county, ED DENSON AND SHAKTI THANK YOU !!!!!!!!

  • Permit What Permit

    So they are hitting properties that do not have a cannabis permit. What about the properties with a license? So they get a free pass? In my neighborhood, one farm pushed over old Oak trees, which should be protected, considering they are disappearing from our landscape and pushed far more than 50 yards of soil. What about unpermitted structures on licensed farms? Seems to be a bit lopsided. Seems a bit unfair for those that chose not to go legal AND stopped cultivating. The county really needs to take a different approach with this. Why does one parcel without a cannabis permit get an abatement and the neighbors with cannabis permits get to operate without worry?
    What about the farms that do NOT have a state license but have a county license? Why are they still operating?

    • These have been my questions all along.
      And why oh why can a person just file a site plan, pay a fee and commence to grow before infrastructure, neighborhood impact, plant burden is in place to sign off ?????? Why do legal grows get to pull off their crops for the first few years with no boots on the ground inspection? It seems everyone but the county knows that especially these grows are all sold on the black market. Where is that big bad satellite oversite? I don’t think they look at legal grows, at least it appears so.

  • Ok, this will probably be an unpopular question but since this person has put herself out there to be scrutinized; did she participate in the 10 year Greenrush?
    We all know about the multiple 215 patient scam, I know people that had stacks of 215s sitting in a file to cover their butts in the event of a raid.
    As I’ve said before, nailing down growers is like trying to herd cats, they are all working they’re own angle, legal or otherwise. I don’t think the County is ever going to get true compliance. Ever.

  • Tell me why Humboldt County is the only county with over the top permitting regulations? And the amount of money they are requesting is outrageous. It seems as if you have millions like the Wilder Ridge man (whose reputation is far and wide) then everything is fine no matter how many laws you break. What a joke this mess is

    • The answer to your question is Humboldt is not the only county as you describe. Many places are harder and more expensive.

      Two years to the day to get through CUP process my new county and no operations allowed AT ALL until completion. Not allowed even to get Temp/Provisional State licencing during the process. I don’t mean it didn’t work out to get temporary licensing, I mean it wasn’t allowed period.

  • Let's say hello bushnell ,goodbye funky fennel

    I sure hope we see fenell kicked to the curb in November!! Cmon people turn out to vote on election day it does make a difference!!!!

    • Who says Bushnell is the answer to all the permitting ills? She’s only one vote. She’s also a grower. Do you want Bohn gone also because his son has skin in the game and votes to make things easy for growers? You think Bushnell won’t be doing that? I would think that any vote by Bushnell on matters of Cultivation would be a conflict of interest.

  • I love seeing liberals complain about tyrannical government, then voting for more government, then shocked when they get more of the same. It’s like watching a dog chasing it’s tail. Green Party huh?

    • I love seeing Republicans that want to discontinue oversight agencies. They don’t want anyone stopping them from feeding at the trough, breaking laws and polluting the earth. I especially love when they install corporate shills/lobbyists in oversite positions, like the fox watching the gen house.
      Republican mantra of less government?
      Bwahahaha hahahahahaha, what a joke.

  • Communists hate private property.

  • Taking Clause, US Constitution

    Mendocino is doing similar things. I had Mendocino County Building and Planning show up on an “anonymous tip” for cultivation, which was completely fabricated.

    I was doing a biodynamic hobby farm with chickens and vegetables. Thousands of dollars in fees for nonsense. You can’t do ANYTHING without a thousand dollar permit. Chicken coop with a solar panel door opener is a permitted structure requiring “electrical hookup” permitting. Hoop houses for veggies are listed as agricultural exemptions- but to get the exemption, you need a permit.

    Penalties and threats. Threats and more penalties.

    There is no parcel that is in compliance. And all it takes is an anonymous complaint from a Google Earth stalker for these parasites to take up residence in your life.

    • In my 1911 I trust

      I’m not sure about Mendo, but here in Humboldt I find it funny how they will fuel the choppers and gear up to check out a supposed grow on the basis of an anonymous tip, but when someone(not anonymous) calls in and tells the sheriff where a body of a missing person is buried, they can’t do anything because its “hearsay”.

      • Taking Clause, US Constitution

        IDK, it was illegal before, but now it’s not. So this just seems like inappropriate government overreach. And people like me are getting swept up along with it. I was delighted last year to see we had actually saved quite a bit of money on our little hobby farming endeavor.

        But it will take me 10 years to break even now, and though I had made a few mistakes, I read and tried to follow the rules. They CHANGED the rules, and then triple fined me for being out of compliance. Wouldn’t make an appointment so I could get a babysitter and threatened me in front of my smallish children. Who can in fact do math, and had nightmares over this.

        Mind you, this is for a small scale personal use VEGETABLE garden. Not to begrudge my neighbor for making a few bucks growing weed, but those folks can afford these fines. Growing peppers and melons at the personal use scale? It just doesn’t seem like the process is moral. Or legal for that matter. Hence my moniker of “taking clause” which these traitors are violating.

        I know this because I argued against similar nonsense that my local government agency undertook- I am a sworn peace officer (not cop) and my agency WAS sued. And lost. After three appeals and a scolding by yet another judge, they have to give all the money back. And their blunder wasn’t anywhere NEAR the scale or bizarre nature of what these agencies are getting up to. 😛

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