Kenwood Press


Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
News: 11/15/2016

Native American Church leaves Kenwood site



Wooden sign on road
The Oklevueha Native American Church’s sign when it first opened on Lawndale Road in August 2015.

It was over a year ago that a branch of the Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC) set up shop at a Lawndale Road location, but now it has apparently shut its doors, with an ONAC representative saying members were, “forced out by the local authorities to vacate the premises.”

Sonoma County code enforcement has had an ongoing abatement procedure against the property at 1142 Lawndale Road, charging that a use permit was required to have a religious place of worship, and that a sign they erected violates county regulations.

In an email earlier this month, code enforcement officer Mike Carey wrote that an ONAC representative had told the county that ONAC Valley of the Moon had left the property. Carey said that he had confirmed this with an inspection of the premises.

The ONAC Valley of the Moon made its presence known in August of 2015 when it put up a sign, an act that, according to a press release at the time, indicated that, “these places are church property or sacred ceremonial sites. As such, the grounds and facilities are under different legal requirements than apply to plants grown for medical research or to supply state authorized medical marijuana dispensaries.”

Utah-based ONAC and its 200 branches across the U.S. make use of marijuana and peyote in their religious practices.

In September of 2015, Sheriff’s deputies raided the Lawndale Road property, confiscating and then destroying over 600 cannabis plants.

Soon after, church lawyers filed a civil and religious rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charging in part that the seizure was illegal and had violated church members’ right to use cannabis in their religious rituals.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in June after a church attorney failed to show up for a court conference, with the judge writing that the attorney had repeatedly failed to comply with court rules and procedures.

ONAC filed another federal lawsuit in August, but ONAC voluntarily withdrew the suit in October. Neither case ever got to the point of determining the merits of the lawsuit.

It is not known exactly how many members ONAC Valley of the Moon had at the time they left. In September of 2015, an ONAC Valley of the Moon spokesman put the number at under 10.


Editor & Publisher
Email: alec@kenwoodpress.com

Recently Published:

07/01/2019 - Cal Fire suspends burn permits in Sonoma County
07/01/2019 - Oakmont board will bid on golf facilities
07/01/2019 - Workshop refines vision for SDC future
07/01/2019 - Cyclist hurt in Glen Ellen
07/01/2019 - Keep your eyes open – it’s tick season
07/01/2019 - County reminds residents of fireworks ban
07/01/2019 - Hiking duo honored as parade grand marshals
07/01/2019 - Update your contact info with PG&E
07/01/2019 - Rebuilding by the numbers
07/01/2019 - Eldridge P.O. temporarily relocated to Glen Ellen
07/01/2019 - A big MAC for New Year’s
07/01/2019 - Cannabis dispensary proposed for Kenwood
07/01/2019 - Three open positions at Kenwood School
06/15/2019 - PG&E installs new fire cameras in Sonoma Valley
06/15/2019 - Impact100 Sonoma awards $324,00 in grants
06/15/2019 - Glen Ellen Forum hears about housing, applauds funding
06/15/2019 - Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District customers will see rates increase next year
06/15/2019 - Kenwood parks, county properties to see end of pesticide use
06/15/2019 - Free curbside debris chipping available
06/15/2019 - Scot Medbury named new director of Quarryhill in Glen Ellen
06/15/2019 - Is the red flag flying?
06/15/2019 - Ecology Center named nonprofit of the year
06/15/2019 - Dunbar volunteer tutors sharpen kids’ reading skills
06/15/2019 - Learn more about the MAC citizens group
06/15/2019 - Volunteers beautify Glen Ellen

Community Calendar

Oakmont Farmers Market
07/20/2019
more...
Walk ‘n Wag
07/20/2019
more...
‘Forest bathing’ hike
07/20/2019
more...
“Fantastical Family Night” at Jack London
07/20/2019
more...
Kenwood Community Church service
07/21/2019
more...
Butterflies and dragonflies hike
07/21/2019
more...
Al Anon meeting
07/24/2019
more...
Bingo at Rincon Valley Grange
07/24/2019
more...
Volunteer training begins at Quarryhill Botanical Garden
07/24/2019
more...
Funky Fridays concerts at Hood Mansion
07/26/2019
more...
Oakmont Farmers Market
07/27/2019
more...


Weather Underground PWS KCAKENWO2