Letter: Pot grow detrimental to neighborhood | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Pot grow detrimental to neighborhood

Pot grow detrimental to neighborhood

On May 15, 1990, the Board of County Commissioners of Pitkin County approved the formation of the Woody Creek Caucus. The function of the caucus is to make recommendations to the county commissioners in matters directly affecting the caucus area.

On Oct. 31, 2013, the Woody Creek Caucus voted 91 to 7 to deny the application of the Radtkes’ proposed 19,000 square feet of marijuana greenhouses in two separate pods to be installed at 2520 Lower River Road with additional square footage on the east side of the road. Since the commissioners approved the formation of the Woody Creek Caucus, it seems only logical they listen and take to heart the results.

Up until now, the residents on Lower River Road have spent countless hours working with officials in Pitkin County to maintain the integrity of our neighborhood. We have chosen to preserve the past and present character of the community and endorse and uphold land-use policies that support, not sacrifice, our residences. Now, our healthy community is being threatened by a commercial marijuana operation that has no regard for our residents or preservation of those things considered advantageous for our neighborhood.

We are zoned AR-10, which means it is primarily a residential neighborhood that allows its residents to have a couple of horses, barn, grow hay to feed our horses, or a vegetable garden to feed our family. If the marijuana greenhouses are allowed to invade our neighborhood, the intention of our zoning is undermined because the purpose will change to commercial profit first and residential family second. The Radtkes, who have rented the land to grow marijuana for sale, are in it for business purposes, not to add to the integrity of the neighborhood. And, if their application is approved, how many other commercial grow operations will follow? No longer will we be a neighborhood; instead, we will become a road of high-security commercial grow sites. Destroying our vital neighborhood will have a tremendous negative impact on Pitkin County and the surrounding communities.

Strong neighborhoods make a community essential and add to its prosperity. Lower River Road has flourished and thrived thus far because its residents have supported the culture and values of the neighborhood. The marijuana greenhouse grow operation threatens to overturn this.

This dilemma could be solved by having the Radtkes locate their commercial grow operation in a commercial area that does not threaten established neighborhoods. It is no wonder the Snowmass/Capitol Creek Caucus unanimously voted to recommend prohibition of marijuana grow sites and the Emma Caucus favored a temporary ban.

I strongly urge the county commissioners to follow suit with the people’s voice and deny the Radtkes’ marijuana greenhouses to be constructed on Lower River Road, or at least put a temporary ban for one year to consider the effects on our residential neighborhood and community that can never be regained. We place our trust in you to preserve the integrity, values and unique qualities of our neighborhood.

Jean-Marie Hamel

Old Snowmass

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