Woody Creek marijuana greenhouses shelved until February
December 20, 2013
Lower River Road residents will have to wait until 2014 to find out whether marijuana greenhouses will be allowed in their Woody Creek neighborhood.
During the final regular meeting of the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners for 2013 on Wednesday, most in attendance were there to voice objections to the proposed marijuana greenhouses in their neighborhood.
There was some obvious frustration among the residents after the commissioners decided to request a continuance with the issue until Feb. 12. Several in attendance were perplexed that no decision was made and left visibly angry.
Board Chairman George Newman explained that the issue is an application for an exemption for square footage for greenhouse growing, although there is a use that's implicated.
Newman said the commissioners have received more letters and materials regarding the application since the board visited the site in November.
"If we want to enter these letters into the official record, I would then have to reopen the public comment," Newman said. "If that's the case, … the applicant … hasn't had the opportunity perhaps to look at these comments and these letters. If they would like to have some time to do that, then we could continue this meeting to allow them to do that."
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Applicant Ron Radke agreed to accept a continuance.
Newman advised members of the Woody Creek Caucus to have a discussion relating to retail and/or medical marijuana enterprises and make a determination of whether the caucus wishes to opt in or out.
To opt out, the Woody Creek Caucus would need to send a formal letter to the commissioners saying it does not want any marijuana grow operations in its area, not just the Radke operation.
"By opting out, similar to what the Snowmass Capitol Creek, Emma and the Fryingpan caucuses have done, that saves everyone a lot of anguish," he said. "Everyone understands what the land use is going to allow. It's going to save a lot of time and money not only for the applicants but also for the neighbors. Unless you want to go through this again and again and again, I think it's something the caucus should take up."
After the meeting, Marty Schlumberger, a Lower River Road resident who has been at the forefront of many discussions opposed to the greenhouses, declined to comment on the issue. He did, however, spar quickly about a disagreement with Radke outside the plaza. One woman even accused an attorney who was speaking with Radke at the time, of being "stoned" throughout the meeting.
Radke was asked if waiting for a decision was getting frustrating.
"No, not at all," he said. "The only thing that's irritating are the lies that are generated that I have to respond to. Lawyers are a necessary evil; they create the lie, and you have to defend yourself. I think that's total bulls—."