SAGUACHE — The Saguache County Planning Commission (SCPC) last Thursday began the revision of the county’s marijuana regulations, but those attending the meeting did not feel any significant progress was made in addressing those matters raised repeatedly in previous meetings by residents who live near the grows.
Bill McClure headed the review of the regulations and at the beginning of the meeting advised those trying to ask questions that questions and comments were not allowed. A similar approach was used during the SCPC’s Master Plan revisions years ago, also supervised by McClure.
The suggested revisions, which will be discussed further at the regular SCPC meeting Thursday, were recommended as follows:
Citizens who have been regularly protesting commissioners’ and the SCPC’s handling of the grows objected later that the following pressing issues were never or were not sufficiently addressed in amending the regulations.
Problems with Jason Trouard’s Mammoth Farms, said to be the largest grow in the country, was also discussed.
At last week’s commissioners meeting during the afternoon session, the application for A Growing Concern marijuana grow operation was denied. According to Moffat resident Marty Lange, the reasons for the denial were:
1). The fencing they were using was not adequate. People are not supposed to be able to see through the fence and recognize any plants. However, the grower was told that as long as he has a fence that somewhat disguised the plants, even though people could look through, as long someone could not distinguish that the plants were marijuana the mesh fence would be legal and permissible. The growers were told they should not be able to "see through" the mesh at all (it was noted by the commissioners however, that the infrastructure does not have to be in place before a permit is approved).
2). The original application was for the construction of a greenhouse. But now the owners have decided to have an outdoor grow instead (Land Use director Wendi Maez said that she was unaware of this).
3). There is a designated bus stop for children at the crossroad of 52 and T Rd. this has been an established bus stop and has been picking up/dropping off children since 2013. The grower was under the impression, and was told, that there was no official school bus stop at this location. However, Maez said she checked with both the superintendent and the bus monitor (at both schools) and was told there was indeed, a designated pick up/drop off point at Road 52 and Road T.
Commissioner Tim Lovato moved to deny the permit. The other two commissioners agreed and seconded the motion. The owners were angry and said they would consult with their attorney.
Monday county administration pulled the pending approval of the Barkl grow in Ewing Estates. The reason given was that Barkl never submitted a lease agreement between himself and the property owner, so his current application is incomplete. He was pulled from the March 29 agenda and will be required to resubmit his application.