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SLO County Supervisors deny appeal for Pozo cannabis grow site with 2-2 vote

County of San Luis Obispo
Map of denied cannabis cultivation site plan in Pozo.

In a 2-2 decision, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted April 6 to deny an appeal for a cannabis cultivation site in the community of Pozo, just 15 miles southeast of Santa Margarita. The tie vote upholds a denial by the county Planning Commission.

The appeal was an alternative proposal to the original project.

It would have allowed the Pozo Management Group to practice indoor and outdoor cultivation of cannabis on more than 4 acres of a 59-acre parcel at 880 Parkhill Road.

The management group adjusted the original project proposal to include reductions of cultivation, building space, water use and total disturbance to the land.

Supervisors John Peschong and Lynn Compton moved to deny the appeal.

Compton said her decision was based on water availability, impact to neighbors and county electrical code violations observed on the property.

“I don’t feel like the neighbors... or anybody that’s right in that area supports this project,” Compton said. “The changes are just not that significant for me anyway.”

Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Dawn Ortiz-Legg opposed the motion to deny the appeal.

Gibson said his decision was based on extensive findings from a report about the impact to the site.

“The sense that, somehow, the water is a problem here is addressed very plainly by a technical report that is part of the record that shows there is adequate water to serve the original project at its larger size,” Gibson said. “[The amount of water is] certainly capable of serving the project at its reduced size.”

Supervisor Debbie Arnold recused herself from the vote due to a potential conflict of interest.

Community members called in to the Board of Supervisors meeting to both support and oppose the project.

Many argued the cultivation site would be valuable for the local economy. Others opposed the project on the basis of water use, traffic, fire danger and odor.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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