Marijuana greenhouses win approval from Eagle County
July 23, 2014
A marijuana cultivation facility totaling 6,912 square feet in Missouri Heights won unanimous approval from Eagle County commissioners on Tuesday.
The request by the Alexander Co. for four greenhouses in a secluded subdivision on the Eagle and Garfield county line was the first application reviewed for a pot cultivation facility in unincorporated Eagle County.
"It goes without saying, this is a bit of a milestone for Eagle County," said Scot Hunn, a planner with the county.
The request generated little interest from the public, unlike prior proposals for similar facilities in Pitkin County. Elaina McNulty was the only critic at a sparely attended public hearing in El Jebel on Tuesday.
"The whole thing is just so very negative," McNulty said. She claimed that the proposal goes against the covenants of the Ten Peaks Mesa subdivision. The area also is called the Pleasant Valley subdivision. Several undeveloped home sites on 35-acre parcels are in the vicinity of the greenhouse site, she said.
"It's for families. It's not for the drug business," McNulty said.
"It's for agriculture and farm animals and good, wholesome living," she later added.
County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry said the commissioners had decided when drafting marijuana cultivation regulations that such operations should be considered an agriculture use and were best on rural lands rather than areas zoned for industrial uses. She noted that the commissioners had visited the site of the proposed facility earlier Tuesday and deemed it compatible for the area. The proposal was approved by Chandler-Henry and Commissioners Jill Ryan and Sara Fisher.
The site is about 10 miles from El Jebel and 8 miles from Catherine Store, according to the presentation Tuesday. It is accessed by a private road from the public Upper Cattle Creek Road.
The closest home is owned by the applicants, Josh and Natalie Alexander. Their application said they have been growers and providers of flowers and perennial plants for 10 years. They want to expand their scope and have worked on their application for seven months to make sure it meets Eagle County's regulations.
"The greenhouse facility is designed to accommodate any crop that has value and can support a business," the application said. "It is intended as a marijuana cultivation facility, though as demand changes, so may the species of crop."
Josh Alexander said their operation will be called Cattle Creek Cultivations. It will be a wholesale operation that isn't tied to any one retailer. Their application is outdated, he said, because it ties the operation to Durango Organics, a medical marijuana store in Durango.