Letter: Decision discrepancy on pot by county commissioners
I read with interest Chad Abraham’s article about the marijuana moratorium (Aspen Daily News, May 29). I too have been wondering why the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners have been implementing ad hoc decisions and emergency measures that favor one business so clearly over others. Last year the board of county commissioners approved a huge land use variance opposite Holland Hills for one business to grow marijuana. Representatives of more than 140 local residents and the Mayor of Basalt, spoke in opposition to this plan in a four-hour meeting. They were ignored by the county commissioners. Now I sadly watch as a Whole Food-sized building is erected in the mud pit of what used to be a beautiful little ranch. At the time the opposing residents endured a stream of public censure with even Rick Carroll calling us “pot paranoid” in his editorials (The Aspen Times, August 3). Most people opposing were simply against the variance which expanded the allowed buildings from 12000 square feet in total to 25000 square feet, plus 11,000 square feet.
Supporting structures plus the existing structures — on four acres of land. Within a couple of months the county commissioners denied a requested variance just 6 miles up the road which only asked for an extra 12,000 square feet on 35 acres. The denial was issued quoting the legal argument that such construction is only considered for “existing agricultural operations looking to expand, not to new operations.” This was in clear contradiction to their earlier approval. Now they are using a new emergency measure retroactively against that second request. Rachel Richards is quoted as saying the county commissioners is proceeding in a “fair, evenhanded manner.” Obviously this is not the case. What is very clear though is that one business is being favored to the exclusion of all others. Why?
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Two Rivers Unitarian-Universalist Church, in conjunction with the Roaring Fork Valley’s Interfaith Council and Sanctuary Unidos, is showing a Zoom presentation of the documentary “Welcome Strangers” at 10 a.m. Sunday.