SLO County Licensing workshop

Know Before You Grow- Application Workshop on December 11, 2017

Author: Department of Planning & Building
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:01 PM

Do you have questions about the recently adopted regulations for cannabis activities in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County? Read on for more information regarding the permanent ordinances and application process.


The Board of Supervisors adopted regulations for cannabis activities in SLO County on November 27, 2017.

Are you an applicant seeking to apply for a land use permit?

The Department of Planning and Building will be holding an application workshop on December 11, 2017. The workshop will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. in Room 161/162 (next to the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers). No applications will be accepted at this workshop; instead, staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding the application process and to provide general property information and information on the cannabis ordinances.

If you would like to look up specific property information from home, please use our PermitView program.

No inland land use applications will be accepted until the inland ordinance is effective (December 31, 2017). No coastal land use applications will be accepted until the coastal zone ordinance is certified.

What activities require a land use permit?

All activities, except for personal and caregiver cultivation, require a County land use permit to operate, in addition to a County business license and a State cannabis license.

Where can you find more information on the adopted ordinances?

Where can you find more information on the application process?

What do you need to do after a land use permit is approved?

What about taxation?

Anticipating California Cannabis Licensing Applications from Bureau

Well, here we are, one month away from the GO date for legal and regulated cannabis sales in California!

Normally, I'd be excited about such a thing, but unfortunately am feeling the stress and anxiety of SLOcal cannabis business owners scrambling to find new property to cultivate on, buildings to lease, requirements to meet, services to contract, application fees as well as License Permit fees to pay all within this next 30 days.  It's like watching the largest game of musical chairs I've ever seen, with multiple chairs being pulled each time the music stops.

Before we get into the State issues, let's visit the local regulation first.  The SLO Board of Supervisors on November 27th voted to adopt the new regulation concerning commercial cannabis production & retail as well as banned all outdoor cultivation for personal use.   I don't have much that is positive to say about this at the moment except for it was not at all what I expected when we started this journey over a year and 1/2 ago.  SLOCCBA board members will be convening today to discuss our position as well as any options that may be available as a response to unpopular restrictions.   More to come.

The state as of this moment hasn't opened up the portal to accept applications yet.  You can sign up to receive email updates from the state as well as monitor the FB page or Twitter account by following @Bccinfo.dca to be one of the first to know!  In the meantime, requirements are posted.  If you're anticipating having a cannabis business, I sure hope you've already viewed, know and began assembling your application package!

Here's a great article in The Desert Sun summarizing what you can expect come January 1st as the long awaited legalization rolls out.  Availability will be scarce. No where in SLO County, will you be able to legally purchase cannabis products....that I know of at this moment.

I'm still disappointed that our local leadership thought time was better spent in restricting access to legal cannabis rather than investing time to help these businesses become legitimate, legal and ready to apply with the State agencies.  It remains to be seen how local law enforcement & leadership are going to treat providers and consumers as they struggle to find the products they're used to purchasing come the new year.

If you are a business owner in need of resources or have services to offer, please feel free to email Marie@SLOCCBA.org for referrals or give me a call at (805) 712-5963.

Peace,

Marie Roth

SLOCCBA President

 

 

California Allows Cannabis Monopolies

In the past almost two years that I've been working in the California cannabis space, I've been inspired by the American dream of owning one's own business.  The opportunity that's come about for Californians to transition to a legitimate, above board cannabis business has been met with unprecedented enthusiasm by thousands of currently operating small canna-biz owners.

This is precisely why I got into this gig, I could see the potential for these businesses to provide locally grown, quality products to those in need in their community and even enjoy a little California Cannabis market competition much like our California wine industry does.  I instantly wanted to be a part of this historic transition to help guide these business owners by gathering & sharing the resources I've acquired to help businesses become competitive & successful in the modern marketplace.

While these small businesses have been busy positioning their seat at the table so have inventors,  investors and large corporations.  Unfortunately, the State of California Regulators made a decision yesterday in the release of  final state commercial cannabis production regulations to not limit cultivation to 1 acre.  This is a devastating decision and does little in protecting the original California cannabis growers way of farming.  Say hello to big corporate and mechanized cannabis farming in California.  Say good by to your small scale local cannabis provider as the vicious competition begins to provide cheap mass produced California cannabis products to the undiscriminating consumer.  Ultimately lowering the price of cannabis making it financially impossible for the small farmer to afford to participate.

Can we demand a fair market place for the original cannabis producer?   Can we salvage the legacy of California sungrown cannabis cultivated by the loving hands of experienced and compassionate farmers?

Yes we can!  Start by completing this survey TODAY from California Growers Association. asking for a cap of 1 acre cultivation. http://www.calgrowersassociation.org/1_acre. 

And then be sure to contact your local state representative to let them know how you feel about large corporate monopolies taking over California cannabis production.

Corporate cannabis cultivation is contradictory to California Cannabis Cultivation! 

Contact - Assemblymen Jordan Cunningham

Contact - Senator Bill Monning

Until next time~

Peace

Marie

 

 

Small Load Olive Press Day @ Natures Touch Nursery & Harvest

 

It's a fun filled weekend watching the harvest unfold before our very eyes!  Nature's Touch Nursery is open to the public as well as any small olive producers to bring in fruit to be milled in Olea Farms mobile press. .  No Fruit Flies - olives must be CLEAN from pests or you will be turned away!

Vendors are welcome to set up a booth during the day.  Cannabis cultivators are encouraged to attend if looking for distribution avenues. Call Marie Roth for more info. (805) 712-5963.

4 to 6PM "Come to the Table" Harvest Feast, Proceeds go to Pacific Wildlife, celebrating 30 years of wildlife rehab and management here in SLO County & SLO County Cannabis Business Association, cultivating relationships, ideas and solutions for the cannabis industry, community and consumers. 

Click here to get your tickets now, only $20! 

Medical vs. Adult use Cannabis Products

This is for the benefit of those attempting to understand (including myself) the differences of cannabis deemed for medicinal use as opposed to adult use aka recreational use of cannabis and how best to make it available to consumers.

  • What's the difference between medicinal and adult use cannabis?
  • How will it be licensed for retail?
  • How will it be tax exempt for State ID issued card carriers?

In essence, there is physiologically no difference between a Type M-licensed medicinal cannabis plant and a type A-licensed cannabis plant destined for adult use. In addition, the standards of quality will be the same for both license types as per California Dept of Public Health. The only difference between an “A-license” and an “M-license” is how the consumer could be exempt from paying sales tax if used as a prescribed medicine for treatment of a specific ailment and holds a State issued ID card.

Definitions:
“A-license” means a state license issued under this division for cannabis or cannabis products that are intended for adults who are 21 years of age and older and who do not possess a physician’s recommendation.

“M-license” means a state license issued under this division for commercial cannabis activity involving medicinal cannabis.

“Retailer,” for the retail sale and delivery of cannabis or cannabis products to customers. A retailer shall have a licensed premises which is a physical location from which commercial cannabis activities are conducted. A retailer’s premises may be closed to the public. A retailer may conduct sales exclusively by delivery.

“Microbusiness,” for the cultivation of cannabis on an area less than 10,000 square feet and to act as a licensed distributor, Level 1 manufacturer, and retailer under this division, provided such licensee can demonstrate compliance with all requirements imposed by this division on licensed cultivators, distributors, Level 1 manufacturers, and retailers to the extent the licensee engages in such activities. Microbusiness licenses that authorize cultivation of cannabis shall include the license conditions described in subdivision (b) of Section 26060.1.

Tax exemptions:
“The sales and use taxes imposed by Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) shall not apply to retail sales of medicinal cannabis, medicinal cannabis concentrate, edible medicinal cannabis products, or topical cannabis as those terms are defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 26000) of the Business and Professions Code when a qualified patient or primary caregiver for a qualified patient provides his or her card issued under Section 11362.71 of the Health and Safety Code and a valid government-issued identification card.”

  • Is it feasible for a dispensary to operate as medicinal only and not offer adult use licensed products?

The short answer is no.

Tax exempt people. Let’s consider a few more complicated issues concerning “M Licensed” cannabis. The consumer is only exempt from paying taxes if they are a STATE card issued patient. This is very different from a physician's recommendation that is widely used to gain membership in today’s collective. Please see HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE - HSC for the requirements for patient & caregiver tax exempt status.

So in comparison to what collectives accept now as a “medical recommendation”, this state issued identification card isn’t something I see a majority of dispensary visiting consumers applying for, in my opinion. The question I’d ask now is, of those that have a current “medical recommendation”, how many will actually go to the state and apply for the tax exemption status vs. how many will just opt to pay taxes for either type A or M licensed products? From what I can understand a consumer can purchase both A or M licensed products. Only the State ID card carriers would be exempt from paying tax on M licensed products only. So it’s not a matter of the Medicinal or Adult Use of the products, it’s just whether or not sales tax is collected.

I would estimate that a larger percentage of those who currently have current “medical recommendations” to gain access to a collective currently would opt to not renew those recommendations and purchase type A or M licensed product and happily pay the taxes, (motivation to keep them low). Because they are essentially the same products.

Considering that From 2004 through January of this year, 85,370 medical marijuana identification cards have been issued by California counties, an average of 7,100 cards per year, wouldn’t that would severely limit the opportunity for profitable business if a dispensary were limited to selling only type “M-Licensed” products to only State ID holders? And would it cause consumers to unnecessarily obtain a medical ID card to be able to purchase a product such as a pain relieving topical.

I often hear elected officials contemplate medicinal only dispensaries because “we’re just not comfortable with adult use yet”. I ask you to consider this truth; A large part of the SLO County population is comfortable with it. They are experienced, educated, ready and eager to purchase the products they voted for access to. Aside from prohibition of adult use complicating product sales for such things as topicals it would seem that by allowing for a combined A & M licensed dispensary or retail store-front would result in:

Providing the consumers what they asked for.
Lessen the propensity for black market sales.
Keep revenue in your locality instead of giving it all to Grover Beach or outside delivery services.
Save time in the future from having to go back and change ordinances.
Greater chance of profitability for the dispensary by being able to offer a wider range of products for consumers.

These matters are extremely complicated especially if one is unfamiliar with the how’s, who’s and why’s of cannabis activities. So without seeming to minimize the complexity and implications of cannabis business in our communities, I’d argue that by allowing a dispensary that sells both type A & M licensed products the process would be less complicated in the long run, better suited for local consumers and profitable for the store owner.

San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Business Association is a local non-profit agency offering assistance in understanding state law and how it applies to SLO County and it’s residents. We strive to bridge the gaps of understanding by working with stakeholders and community leaders to compile timely and accurate information needed to implement conscientious regulations that will serve our communities without compromising their integrity.

Please feel free to use us as a resource by reaching out to any of our SLOCCBA Board Members, or myself.

Kindly,
Marie Roth
SLOCCBA President
(805) 712-5963

P.S.

AB133 is now positioned to replace SB94. Other notable language in the trailer bill AB133:

By using the “Ctrl F” key please search “requirements” to learn more about licensing requirements.

MAUCRSA requires that a licensed medicinal cannabis manufacturer only manufacture cannabis products for sale by a medicinal cannabis retailer. AB133 would repeal those provisions making it possible for one manufacturer to produce for both medicinal as well as adult use products. These products can also be sold in the same store right next to each other on the same shelf.

“The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), among other things, consolidates the licensure and regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities.”

Sold out Wine & Weed Event in Santa Rosa, CA

Wine & Weed Symposium, a brief overview.

August 5, Santa Rosa, CA,

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Wine Industry Network's Wine & Weed Symposium in Santa Rosa Ca.  I'd been looking forward to it for weeks as the event had sold out about a month prior. Two of my favorite things coming together in one event? Surely, I must be dreaming! I couldn't help but to anticipate with excitement what could come of such a gathering.

Off we set from Paso Robles wine country in the wee morning hours of August 5th, headed North to Santa Rosa.  We were scheduled to arrive by 8am at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek, where the symposium was to take place. I dragged along a couple of event coordinator associates of mine to gain their perspectives on how all this may play out when it comes to meeting the demands of consumers concerning parties, events, cannabis consumption and party favors. None of us had a clue as to what kind of experience awaited us.

The Program:

We walked into a bustling environment thick with anticipation to get this program started! The layout flowed down a great foyer into an adjacent banquet room lined with exhibitors as well as a constantly updated (throughout the day) variety of refreshments and canapé items. (non medicated, just in case you wondered).  The time finally arrived for us to be seated among the sold out crowd of 450 attendees to hear opening comments by Senator Mike McGuire and Wine Industry Network President, George Christie.

The vast array of speakers line up at the Wine & Weed Symposium consisted mostly of seasoned cannabis entrepreneurs and advocates with one winemaker in the mix who happens to sit on the Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association representing both wine and cannabis. Senator Mike McGuire started off with opening remarks, a little bit of history as to how we all ended up in that room together, encouraging both industries to collaborate seeking to find innovative solutions for all of California's Ag crops to be profitable and sustainable.

Hezekiah Allen, CGA and Aaron Smith, NCIA started off the discussions with the hard realities facing the cannabis industry.  7 in 10 canna-businesses will not make the cut.  Cannabis production in California is out of control producing 8 times more than in previous history.  The quality is questionable. The Feds and banking continue to be a problem.  Listening between the lines, the painful truth of industry take over by those investors looking to "make millions" did not escape me, nor did the frustration of legacy growers due to this intrusion.  How does it seem fair that growers, producers and providers who've sacrificed EVERYTHING for the past 20 or so years do all this work so that business men in suits can move on in with money and resources, growing Walmart weed?  How could that possibly have a place in the California Cannabis industry?  Ahhhh, something our California wine industry knows all too well.  The wine industry can offer some lessons to those legacy cannabis growers.  You're in for a big long fight to hold on to what you've created. It's not impossible, just takes hard work, partnerships in resources, passion and determination. Another parallel.

Stats:

I'm somewhat of an optimist, and I've had experience bringing adverse groups together in one room, always anxious to spot & nurture the spark of collaboration, and this group was no different.  It's been no secret that the wine industry has been looking at this new crop of cannabis with wary speculation.  Wary of competition, not only of consumers but in resources needed to produce these commodities, water and workers being the two most prevalent issues facing farmers today.

Organizers of the event used a fantastic audience interaction tool called Sli.do to capture polls and questions from the audience. It was interesting to see which industry the attendees were representing as well as the attitude they had brought with them to this symposium, collaborative or competitive?  As you can see by my screenshot here, the results were overwhelmingly collaborative with a majority of the wine industry deepening their understanding of how these two crops cross over in many ways.  The event was attended by primarily wine industry folks, with only 7% considering cannabis to be a competitor in their market place.

The big question:

Are grapes and weed compatible crop mates? That would only depend on if your idea of organic is all natural microbial sustainability using no "certified" organic products anywhere on your farm.  Cannabis testing requirements will require acceptable contaminant levels be in the parts per billion, standards of which very few grape growers could adhere to, let alone any commercial farmer growing anything in California. Except, that is, for the legacy grower who's been doing this for a while, adhering to Mother Natures organic ways.  In addition the state has set some pretty hard lines between cannabis and wine production & consumption in the same locations.

 

Exhibitors:

In addition to several hours of riveting speaker content there were dozens of vendors lining the hallways and filling up another entire banquet room. What really impressed me most was the sophistication of products and who those products were being consumed by! Would you believe professional business women & mothers over the age of 40?   Companies like HerbaBuena and Garden Society have nailed this market with beautifully designed packaging and micro dosages that make sense for the functional adult.

Garden Society's Bright Blooms
HerbaBuena

Then there's CannaCraft.   Remember how I mentioned larger companies with the money and resources?  Well this is what they look like and I gotta tell you, it's impressive. We did get to tour their facility in Santa Rosa, I'll admit to strong feelings of envy for SLO County who I don't think has the capacity quite yet to appreciate something like their amazing "tasting room & lounge".  Don't get me wrong here, I do believe there is a place for large scale, consistent, cannabis production, but I don't think it should squeeze out traditionally grown flower, in fact I believe embracing the traditional outdoor grower would be a positive addition to any product line up.  Read a bit about CannaCrafts adventures in compliance. 

Overall, the Wine and Weed Symposium resonated with most that there is not only room for collaboration, but it just might be downright necessary in order for the boutique farmer (of any produce) to survive in California.  The State of California has made provision for cannabis cooperative farming and production, who's to say we can't collaborate/cooperate with other crop producers?  Coupled with a constant flow of thoughtful & creative product development presented with brilliant branding and marketing techniques, the possibilities are endless.  Co-farming, co-marketing and co-consumption.  Sounds like an idea worth considering.

Many thanks to the Wine Industry Network for putting on this event, it was spectacular!  I loved the interaction and the many people I met.  I look forward to Wine & Weed on the Central Coast in 2018!

Cheers & 'ere,

Marie Roth, President, SLO County Cannabis Business Association

The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact

Good day!

I wanted to share with you and impact study that was done by The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area of Colorado and released in September of 2016.   This information came my way recently byway of local law enforcement.  During my conversation with the officer I found my self sympathizing with the plight of the peace officer in their daily struggles to maintain peace and order especially when it comes to outsiders coming to the Central Coast for some R n R.

I'm going to be the first to point out that this contradicts what the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey of 2015 indicates about use among the youth. Nonetheless in order to be as balanced as Fox News, we report, you decide.

It is, however, critical to note that policy makers get most of their insight from local law enforcement.  What well behaved board of supervisors or city council would go against the advice of local law enforcement?

Enjoy "The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact" during your next reading session.

If you wish to discuss this topic as well as others please consider joining us at F. McLintocks this Thursday at 5PM for a "Meet and Mingle" event in the saloon.

 

SLO Cannabis Ordinance Questions to Stakeholders!

 

San Luis Obispo County Cannabis Ordinance Public Comment - Draft #3

SLO County is asking for more input.

Yet again our county representatives are reaching out to the stakeholders for input as they carefully consider commercial cannabis activity in San Luis Obispo County.
Originally the focus had been on medical cannabis activity, however, due to the passing of Prop 64 combined with the Governor's proposal to mesh the two license types, you'll notice some questions pertaining to adult use commercial cannabis activity as well.
Click on the images below to link with the full slide show presentation.

Please follow the link to the SLO County Board of Supervisors agenda documents pertaining to commercial cannabis activity in SLO County unincorporated areas. Agenda, documents, & SLO Planning Cannabis site.

Be at the hearing meeting, Tuesday, June 20th at 1055 Monterey St. SLO County Board of Supervisors.  this item is #48, expected to be up after the 1:30PM lunch break.

See ya there!

Waiting with anticipation the Draft #3 SLO County Cannabis Ordinance…..

SLO County slow to release Draft #3 Ordinance 1 week before public comment. 

SLO County Admin has decided to not release the next draft ahead of it being posted with the BOS agenda. It will be attached to the agenda due for release either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, is the word from the SLO Planning Dept.

Keep tabs on the SLO County Website checking the agenda often in the next few days to be one of the first to read this much anticipated third draft to the SLO County Cannabis Ordinance.
Main contention points to the #2 Draft are:
22.40.020 C. producers of edible products cannot extract at home.  How many of you use a Magic Butter Machine or a crock pot to extract?
22.40.040 C. 3. Nipomo Mesa Area - Separation of sites by 1000ft from property lines. Can there be mfg, testing or processing within that 1000 ft? It seems that limitation would be in contrast to a "campus" style production facility model.  Why?
Click here In case you need to refer to the entire Title 22 Land use Ordinance of SLO County.
F. 1. Water - Does anyone realize all cultivators need to be registered with the California Water Resources?
G. 4. Cultivation is not allowed on previously undisturbed land in SLO County.  Won't that hamper the ability to expand or start a new outdoor grow?  Again, why?
Ooooh, if you've had a previous code enforcement violation # G. 5. might hurt a little.

Then there's the 22.90.030 where all cannabis activities in the Carrizo Planning Area are prohibited.....apparently that includes all Ag land as well.

Let's now hop over to the Coastal Zone, shall we?  Take into consideration where you'll be able to operate your non-storefront mobile dispensary or cultivation site.

This is just touching on a few of the issues. What we need is more input as to how these proposed regulations will effect your future business plans.  Get the conversation going!

Until Next time!

Marie

Making an impact using the public comment process.

Making an impact using the public comment process

                   

Why make a public comment?

Public comment is an essential component of a healthy community, county and state.  It’s the only way the leaders, policy makers and legislators can really discern what the people want.  Voting is important, but it doesn’t stop there.  

Your City, County, State and Federal governments all make possible the opportunity for your voice to be heard on all issues. Let’s use those opportunities to be involved in the development of our own communities!  

Public comment requires thought and preparation as well as some guts. Making your opinion heard on any subject in front of the public can be very intimidating.  One of our desires at SLOCCBA is that every citizen learn how to make a clear, concise and impactful public comment on any issue they wish to respond to.  The better prepared you are with your message the less horrifying it can be to make your public comment to a governing body staring back at you intently.

When do I make a public comment?

Public comment opportunities happen various times during the meeting including a general public comment regarding items not listed on the agenda.  This can be for things not being addressed by the board that perhaps a citizen thinks ought to be.  For public announcements, events, problems or acknowledgements. Kudos or criticism to the county for something they did or didn't’ do; things of this nature.

Commenting on agenda items:

These are specific items that are up for presentation, discussion or vote to the board or council.  An agenda is posted online or mailed out to view before hand. Online will usually offer links to documents associated with that agenda item.  Go online to www.slocounty.ca.gov/bos/BOSagenda .

The board will usually receive a presentation or report of some kind before they open to public input so that everyone know’s what’s being discussed as well as what direction the staff is needing from the board.

Pay attention to the recommendations put forth by staff for the board to act on.

When making your public comment be sure to conclude with your thoughts of the proposed recommendations and always feel free to offer up your own if you feel they missed the mark!   Remember, staff and supervisors are people too!  They don’t always get it right the first time.  Part of the process is to work until all parties are satisfied they’ve been heard and understood and best policy is put forth for the people to abide by.

How do I make a public comment?

A citizen can make their comment heard in a few ways and will need to be done in advance of any vote or decision.  Don’t be late and make your comment after the board has taken action!  By then it may be too late!

Representatives can be contacted directly on the phone, by email, letter or one can go to a supervisor meeting to use 2 to 3 minute “public comment period”.  A meeting agenda is posted online about a week prior to the meeting listing the items that will be discussed in order of appearance. County Board of Supervisor meetings are every Tuesday for the most part at 1055 Monterey St in San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

What ever way you wish to deliver your comment keep these few things in mind:

 

  • Whether you read it out loud or send it in a letter or email, keep it under three minutes reading time.  

 

  1. Keep to the facts and get to the point. Nothing will make eyes glaze over faster than a rambling monologue about how “you feel”.  They need facts, statistics, ideas and solutions.

 

San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors:

Non-incorporated towns and areas that are not cities in San Luis Obispo fall under the immediate jurisdiction of the County Board of Supervisors.  

The County is divided into 5 districts, each with a representative that make up the County Board of Supervisors.

Mailing address: 1055 Monterey St.,  San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

District 1 - John Peschong, Chair

jpeschong@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Vicki Janssen

vjanssen@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4491


District 2 - Bruce Gibson

bgibson@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Cherie McKee

cmckee@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4338


District 3 - Adam Hill, Vice Chair

ahill@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Hannah Miller

hmiller@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4336

 

District 4 - Lynn Compton

lcompton@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Caleb Mott

district4@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4337

 

District 5 - Debbie Arnold

darnold@co.slo.ca.us

Assistant - Jen Caffee

jcaffee@co.slo.ca.us

805-781-4339

You can send one email to all at:

boardofsups@co.slo.ca.us

What district are you in?  Map Link: http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/bos/districtmap.htm

How do unincorporated areas represent themselves?

Area Advisory Groups of SLO’s unincorporated areas based upon public comment & deliberation they receive during their monthly meetings offer Advisory Board direction to the board of supervisors representing their district. These meetings are open to the public and also will offer opportunities for public comment. See an online listing and contact information to SLO Area Advisory Groups by following this link:  www.slocounty.ca.gov/bos/Area_Advisory_Councils

Avila Valley Advisory Council
Cayucos Citizens' Advisory Council
Creston Advisory Body
Los Osos Community Advisory Council
North Coast Advisory Council
Oceano Advisory Council
San Miguel Advisory Council
Santa Margarita Area Advisory Council (SMAAC)
Shandon Advisory Committee
South County Advisory Council
Templeton Area Advisory Group

 

Can I make a public comment at an Area Advisory Group?

Yes!

 

Public Comment at City Council Meetings.

Incorporated Cities of San Luis Obispo have City Council meetings usually every other week.  The agendas will be posted to their websites about a week before the meeting as well as the pertaining documents.  

Public comment is handled in the same way as a County Board of Supervisors meeting we discussed earlier in this presentation.

Each City has it’s own elected City Council Members that can receive public comment in the same ways we discussed earlier; contact your representative directly on the phone, submit an email, a letter or one can go to a City Council meeting and use the 2 to 3 minute “public comment period”

Can I comment on issues outside my city? Or if I live in the county can I comment to a city council?

Yes! Anyone can make a public comment in any town or city or county they wish.

GENERAL OVERVIEW TO THE PUBLIC COMMENT PROCESS

Basic Steps to preparing for public comment: derived from: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Public-Comment-at-a-City-Council-Meeting

  1. Research your topic of interest. Do local governments have the power to do what you want them to do? Gather any facts you want to present, including citations.
    • Read the local news. Keep current on issues facing your community.
    • Review the minutes from recent meetings to find out what actions have recently been taken relating to your concerns.
  2. Find out when your next city council (or County board of Supervisors depending on if it’s a county or city issue) meeting is. Check at your city's website if they have one, see links provided above.
  3. Read the agenda for the meeting you plan to attend. While there is often a period for public comment on any topic, councils generally cannot act on anything unless it is on the agenda.
    • Understand what is being done. Is your council studying and planning, or is it voting on an issue? What will the vote decide?
    • Read any supporting documents for the agenda item which concerns you. Plans, reports, drafts of ordinances, proposals, and many other documents may be available. Understand what is being proposed and what action may be taken.
  4. Write your comments.
    • Be aware of any time limits on comments (typically 2 or 3 minutes), and practice your comments out loud a few times to make sure you can say what you want in the allotted time.
    • Make notes. You could read from a paper, but be aware that you may sound flat and make little eye contact. You could also make a note card of points and speak from that.
    • Be prepared to be nervous. Even if you plan and practice well, you may still feel pressure when you are at the podium, with the timer running and the council looking at you. Pre-write your notes if you need to.
  5. Go to your city hall and fill out a speaker card, if one is required. If you're not sure what the procedure is, arrive a little early and ask.
    • At some council meetings, you may also speak simply by lining up to do so during the comment period. It is usually best to submit a card if you know in advance you plan to speak.
  6. Attend the meeting, and wait until you are called up.
    • Dress appropriately. You need not dress overly formally, but dress more as you might for an office than for the beach. If you are affiliated with a group, and especially if other group members will be present, consider wearing a uniform, t-shirt, or other insignia.
    • Listen to others' comments on the issue(s) of concern,
    • Listen to anyone giving a presentation on the issue(s) of concern. Sometimes city staff, engineers, architects, or other direct stakeholders make presentations to explain what is being proposed. Listen carefully.
  7. Decide whether you want to adjust your remarks. If you are confident enough to make changes at this point, it can save scarce time to say that you agree or disagree with previous speaker(s), and would like to add something. It can also help your comments to be on point with what is really at issue.
    • The simplest adjustment to make is to strike out and omit any part which is no longer relevant or correct.
  8. Go up to the podium confidently when called. Thank whichever person called you, putting their title (mayor, council member) before their last name.
  9. Introduce yourself, state that you live in the city, and state any relevant affiliations. If you are a member of a group but are speaking for yourself, say so.
  10. State your position clearly. This is the most important part, and the reason you came. Briefly explain your reasoning or describe evidence.
    • It's ok to be nervous, and to refer to your notes. Do your best to speak clearly, to make eye contact, and to sound human.
  11. Thank the city council when done making your comments.
    • Conclude when your time is up, whether you have completed your thoughts or not. It's generally all right to finish your sentence or say thank you after the timer goes off, but don't keep going any longer than that.
  12. Submit any additional communication in writing. If you have additional remarks or supporting materials, or if you can't attend, write it down. Many city councils have an email address, and most should have a city clerk or other staff member present, who can collect printed material for the record. Ask before the meeting if you're not sure what to do with such matter.
    • If you are submitting photos, graphs, or other supporting material along with your comment, mention it during your comment.
    • It's best to submit written materials before a meeting, especially if the council will be making a decision on a matter the same day.

 

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