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Board rejects proposed cannabis farm in community west of Temecula


The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to deny permits for what would have been Riverside County’s first licensed outdoor commercial cannabis cultivation site, citing the incompatibility of the project with the area and the hundreds of people opposed to it.

“I have a lot of concerns for this community,” Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said ahead of the 5-0 vote against Fuego Farms’ proposal. “It introduces challenges in a community that is pretty well set in its current agricultural uses. I have trouble seeing how cannabis is going to fit into that. I don’t think this kind of industrial operation is compatible.”

The 72-acre project was intended to be established in the hills near the Santa Rosa Ecological Reserve, situated among large-lot properties in the area of Carancho and El Calamar roads, just west of Temecula.

The owners said only 4.3 acres were slated for development, leaving the remainder of the property vacant. However, the project called for 15 3,841-square-foot greenhouses, two 2,800-square-foot greenhouses, eight 3,000-gallon water tanks and a 4,800-foot administration building.

Upward of 600 residents in the area — along with the cities of Murrieta and Temecula — opposed the proposal over public safety, noise, odor, lighting and water use concerns.

More than 50 people showed up to speak during the board’s public hearing on whether to grant a development agreement and conditional use permits that would have lasted a decade. The hearing spanned nearly three hours.

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Published: January 12, 2022

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