Development Services

If you are looking to create jobs, talk with us. We process Building Permits including Plan Review, Inspections and coordination with other agencies to issue Permits. We process Development Applications including environmental review, provide zoning information and support long-range planning through the County’s General Plan. Code Enforcement responds to Building, Land Use, Abandoned Vehicles, Noise, Nuisance Abatement and the County’s Restrictions on Cultivation of Medical Marijuana Ordinance complaints.

FAQs About Restriction on Cultivation of Medical Marijuana

Q. How was this Ordinance developed?

The County Administrator coordinated a committee with representatives of qualified patients/growers, property owners and County staff to create a "compromise Ordinance" that would attempt to balance the interests of all parties. After a dozen meetings, this Ordinance was presented to the Board of Supervisors. They adopted the Ordinance with the requirement that County staff monitor issues with implementation and report back towards the end of 2013 and recommend any changes.

Q How do I submit a Complaint?

View the Complaint Process Page.

Q. Is there a summary of the regulations?

View the Ordinance 4051 Table Summary

Q. Is there someone I can call if I have a question?

Call a Code Enforcement Officers (please note their geographic districts)

  • Roy Wallis - 530.538.5361 (Palermo, Honcut, Bangor, Gridley/Biggs, Richvale/Nelson, Durham, Concow, Cherokee, Longbar, Berry Creek, Forbestown, Clipper Mills, Feather Falls, Thermalito, and Kelly Ridge)
  • Wendy Jones - 530.538.6815 (Chico, Cohasset, Forest Ranch, Butte Meadows, Butte Valley, Magalia, Stirling City, South Oroville, and Oroville (Unincorporated))

Q. Does this Ordinance apply in the cities within Butte County?

No. Ordinance 4051 applies to the unincorporated area of Butte County.

Q. When does this Ordinance become effective?

Ordinance 4051 takes effect March 28, 2013.

Q. Can I grow medical marijuana on a vacant lot? 

Yes. Cultivation will be permitted on vacant parcels that have met the requirements of Section 34A-6 (residency requirements) and 34A-7 (Environmental requirements). Where contiguous legal parcels are under common control or ownership, cultivation will only be permitted on parcels that have a legal residence and have met the requirements of Section 34A-6 (residency requirements) and 34A-7 (Environmental requirements)

Q. What if my parcel is irregularly shaped and I can't quite meet the setbacks?

The Director of Development Services may reduce or waive the setback requirement based on an irregular lot shape. 

Q. My doctor's recommendation is greater than the ordinance allows, can I grow that many plants?

This Ordinance regulates the place and manner in which medical marijuana can be grown in unincorporated Butte County. A doctor's recommendation does not make a patient/caretaker exempt from the requirements of the Ordinance. 

Q. Is a greenhouse considered an indoor grow?

It is considered an outdoor grow if it is not fully enclosed. 

Q. Will Code Enforcement inspect every garden? And, will Code Enforcement be driving around looking for gardens which may be in violation of this Ordinance?

No, Code Enforcement will only inspect a property upon receipt of a valid complaint from the public. 

Q. Will I be fined if found in violation? 

If compliance is not met after the 72 hr. Notice, an Administrative Citation will be issued and you will be fined $25-$100 for the first violation. [MORE INFO

Q. What is the enforcement procedure? 

View the Ordinance 4051 - Enforcement Flow Chart

Q. Can more than one grower be on a parcel?

Yes. More than one qualified patient and/or primary caregiver can be part of a grow on a single parcel as long as the maximum number of plants for that parcel size is not exceeded.

Q. Can I install an RV to establish my residence with a Camping Permit?

No, the Code clearly states that the residence type must be Permanent.

Q. If I make a complaint about a property, is my information kept confidential?

  • Under the County's Ordinance, information regarding a person making a complaint will be kept confidential and only disclosed to the hearing officer if the matter proceeds to a hearing authorized under the Ordinance. All other information for the compliance program will be subject to the rules and requirements of the California Public Records Act (California Government Code Section 6250 et seq.), and
  • While the County will abide by the confidentiality provisions of Ordinance 4051, the County cannot guarantee that information will remain confidential if disclosure is compelled in any subsequent or associated legal action, pursuant to a valid applicable State or Federal law, or pursuant to a valid court order.

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 Contact DDS

Development Services

Phone: 530.538.7601
Fax: 530.538.7785

Building - 530.538.6861
Planning - 530.538.5359

View Department Contacts.
View Full List of Staff.

 Locations & Hours

Development Services

7 County Center Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00am to 3:00pm
Excludes Holidays

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Fiscal Year 2012-2013

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Development Services