Oct 23, 2017
by Shepherd Bliss
“No Pot on Purvine” read a catchy flyer appearing in a rural Petaluma neighborhood, announcing an Oct. 8 meeting. It almost got cancelled, because of the fires, so some people did not make it. However, 30 concerned citizens attended.
“We live in rural West Petaluma, and are spearheading a campaign to keep our ag. and open space just that,” arrived an email to a group called Preserve Rural Sonoma County, which maintains a website and Facebook page. “We are up against a big money cannabis operation that has sights on land purchased on our rural Purvine Road. It calls for acres of indoor and outdoor Cannabis cultivation and processing, which will impact our water, safety, security, traffic, etc.,” wrote Ayn Garvisch.
Garvisch hosted the meeting, along with three other articulate women, including Britt Jensen, Phoebe Lang andAutuym Condit. Participants were asked to sign in and a large table displayed the site plan and communications with the county. The owner of this contested cannabis grow at 334 Purvine, who lives in San Francisco, showed up at the meeting with a few people. He was not invited and was not allowed to enter, since this was the first meeting of the group.
It was a family affair, with one person being 14-years old, and another mentioning that he began living in the neighborhood in the 1940s, as well as sweet dogs welcoming visitors with their playful energy. The issues at hand were serious, yet the laughter among friends and people meeting for the first time was contagious. One couple has already paid a substantial retainer to an attorney. So the group has both an activist and a legal approach.
Following are notes this reporter took:
This initial meeting accomplished many things, including the development of an email list of concerned citizens and creating a neighborly feeling among the participants. Next steps include a neighborhood picnic and displaying lawn signs.
The group has started a letter-writing campaign to 2nd District Supervisor David Rabbit and others. One such letter includes the following:
“I have many concerns about this industry’s impact on our area’s water quality, availability, safety and traffic. Furthermore, I believe that the proposed plan would contribute to increased theft, odor, and would have permanent effects on the cultural and natural landscape of the area.”
334 Purvine Rd. File parcel 022-230-018
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