By Teresa L. Benns
SAGUACHE— A young couple hoping to build a home in northern Saguache County appeared again before the Saguache County Planning Commission (SCPC) last week to protest the marijuana cultivation application before the commission on the property adjacent to theirs.
Shiloh Jackman and Mischa Vining-Doyle were featured three weeks ago on a Denver Channel 7 news special by reporter Jace Larson. Larson wrote an update on the news channel’s website to reflect the planning commission review.
The couple has repeatedly stated they were not properly notified the grow would be erected next to their property. They told Larson last month that months before the grow was approved, they spent a great deal of money on drilling a well and building a road to what they hoped would be their new home site. Jackman told Larson he would never have purchased the 35-acre parcel if he had known a grow would be allowed on the adjoining property.
Marijuana cultivation applicant Michael Barkl owns the property next to Jackman and Vining-Doyle on Lot 83 Ewing Ranch – 26758 Hammond Avenue. He is the only MED licensee associated with his company, THC Inc.
During the meeting Thursday, Jackman raised questions regarding the size of Barkl’s operation as presented on diagrams of the grow. He also commented there was no septic plan submitted for the 2,000 square foot pre-fab home Barkl plans to build on the site. Vining-Doyle noted that Barkl has not filed a business operation plan as required. Land Use Administrator Wendi Maez told Vining-Doyle she would have to request a copy of the business plan from the state.
Jackman’s main complaint was the fact he and Vining-Doyle had planned to establish a daycare center on their property, but childcare facilities must be more than 1,000 feet from any marijuana retail store/grow. “The county is stripping us of our right to do this,” if they approve the grow, Jackman objected.
Barkl did tell the SCPC he has now properly posted notice for the grow on each property corner and Maez confirmed he has updated his water contract. Barkl says he will not install electric lines but will use diesel generators, enclosed to muffle noise, to power the operation. A 20-foot high, 45,000 square foot greenhouse will be erected which will house about 1,800 marijuana plants.
The grow will be surrounded by a chain link fence and GPS surveillance, powered by solar, will be installed. Filters on the greenhouse will prevent any smell escaping to adjoining areas, he said.
After listening to Barkl, Jackman and Vining-Doyle, also after hearing citizen comments, SCPC member Bill McClure motioned to table the decision until an onsite visit could be made and the motion carried.
Barkl’s THC Inc. is registered as a non-profit. Under the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Act, control of the nonprofit corporation is under a board of directors. None of these directors were listed on Barkl’s business registration.
A Facebook page appearing to be Barkl’s initially showed he was residing in Hong Kong, but now lists his place of residence as Colorado. Colorado Secretary of State rules require both the authority to transact business in Colorado and a usual place of business in Colorado in order to be appointed as a registered agent.
At present Barkl is using a travelling UPS mailbox on his conditional use application and previously was flying in and out of Saguache for planning commission meetings.
In his initial correspondence with Mischa and Shiloh to address their concerns about the proposed grow, Barkl included a signature using his South Dakota fireworks company and an South Dakota area code. Tiger Tooth Fireworks LLC is not registered to do business in Colorado. His Facebook page documents his plans for this business in 2018 in S.D.
Other grow application
• The conditional use permit modification sought by GHG LLC, owned by Diane Dunlap was granted and will be reviewed by commissioners June 19. Four additional temporary hoop houses will be constructed on the site if approved.
• A conditional use permit for Summitt Resources, LLC, owned by Whitney Justice and operated by the applicant, Otocanna, LLC, was approved and referred to commissioners for final approval June 19.
• Conditional use requests for landowner and applicant Jinfeng Liang, JFD, LLC; also Zhuoyu Ling, landowner/Golden Leaf MIP, LLC, for marijuana cultivation areas on 61997 and 61995 Co. Rd. G (respectively) were tabled until property boundaries can be reassessed.