Zone 7 puts Livermore marijuana farm on hold | News | PleasantonWeekly.com |

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Zone 7 puts Livermore marijuana farm on hold

Wastewater system permit pulled after agency noticed document errors

Livermore’s first legal marijuana farm is on hold after the Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors recently noticed a number of errors, omissions and discrepancies in documents submitted for approval of an onsite wastewater treatment system.

The discovery led to the board unanimously rescinding their prior approval and requesting a full environmental impact report for the project last month.

Oasis Venture is seeking to build a 32,000-square-foot cultivation facility located at 7033 Morgan Territory Road in unincorporated northern Livermore.

The 98-acre property would include about 22,000 square feet of marijuana canopy, a 5,040-square-foot building for processing, storage, maintenance and office space, and 26 parking spots. A private home currently occupied by the Oasis founder is also on-site. No retail sales or production of extracts or concentrates would be permitted there.

As part of the approval process, Oasis applied last year for a conditional use permit with the Alameda County planning department. According to Carol Mahoney, integrated water resources manager for Zone 7, Oasis had supplied an independent hydrology analysis report for the permit as required.

“They said, ‘Can we use this to get our septic tank approval in place?’” Mahoney told the Weekly. “In September, we brought that information to the board, and the board approved of the use based on the information that we received from the application and through this hydrology report.”

But when the mitigated negative declaration from the county came out in December, Mahoney said “it had different numbers than what was shown in the (hydrology) study that had been done back in August, prior to the September approval.”

There were discrepancies between the numbers in the hydrology report and those in the mitigated negative declaration project description, as well as in some of the analysis of the California Environmental Quality Act document, according to minutes from the Jan. 15 board meeting.

“Basically it’s a problem and it’s our own fault,” Oasis founder Chuk Campos told the Weekly. “The CEQA document that ended up being published had older numbers. It’s been an iterative process for months and months and months and we didn’t update the thing properly, and it didn’t have the latest, greatest (information).”

The board was concerned because, according to Mahoney, “it's not unusual to have an environmental document explore a range of options, but the challenge was that the range went outside of what was adopted and accepted.”

“If we’re going to authorize an application, it needs to match what’s going to be in the conditional use permit,” she added.

Several Zone 7 directors, including Angela Ramirez Holmes and Michelle Smith McDonald, said they were “uncomfortable with the fact that Zone 7 received inaccurate information in which the approval was based on,” while Board President Sandy Figuers was concerned about the request to approve the use of an existing fourth septic tank on the property.

Oasis originally planned to remove the tank but found it “was not dry and some water could be taken out of it, so they petitioned Zone 7 to keep the fourth well,” according to the minutes. Figuers was worried “about the lack of water currently being pumped out of the wells” and what would happen to the water supply for surrounding neighbors if Oasis started pumping harder.

Campos said the property has “more than enough capacity” and that it’s now a matter of updating the hydrology report before reapplying for the permit. “I truly believe we have a good case ... we just need to get our ducks in a row like they should’ve been.”

Just how long the project has been delayed is unclear but Campos said at this point, “60 days is my best guess.” Should things get back on track, groundbreaking would happen later this year with construction lasting about four to five months.

Julia Baum is a staff writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. Reach her at jbaum@pleasantonweekly.com or 925-600-0840, ext. 111.

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