Letter: Don’t put us in harm’s way
December 11, 2013
Don't put us in harm's way
Currently, Pitkin County commissioners are considering a site plan review and request for flexibility for agricultural support concerning the property at 2520 Lower River Road in Snowmass Canyon where Ron Radtke, owner of Green Essentials Medical LLC, is hoping for approval to put in 19,000 square feet of floor area for two greenhouses and ancillary buildings for a pot-grow operation.
Radtke considers growing marijuana the same as growing potatoes or any other agricultural plant. But, since when does a potato farm need to have its employees fingerprinted and be checked by the FBI and the state of Colorado to make sure they have no felonies or outstanding tax or loan debts? When must access to a potato farm be restricted to employees and escorted guests and have security around the clock?
Also, when is the last time a potato farm was raided by federal agents, as 15 dispensaries, grow warehouses and homes were in Denver on Nov. 22? Guns were seized and a Columbian on a non-immigrant visa was arrested. Is this what we want in our neighborhood? Radtke's pot-grow operation will not be safe for Old Snowmass.
Radtke and his team have given the most vague details of the plans on Lower River Road near Woody Creek. I walked with the Pitkin County commissioners on their tour of the planned greenhouse development and was so disappointed in what took place. Local residents were not allowed to give input or take photos. According to Radtke, there will be no grow lights, but to camouflage the greenhouses from local residences, the bike path and Highway 82, they may be covered by black mesh. That doesn't make sense.
He also states that noise from the fans in the greenhouses will be up to specs. But his decibel figures are not accurate, because the location is in a canyon.
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While on the tour, we visited the Schlumberger property next door to the proposed pot-grow operation. Maybe the greenhouses will not be visible from ground level after large berms have been erected, but they will be visible from their upper floors. The bike, path which has lots of kids, etc., is 100 percent visible and nearby! The visibility from Highway 82 is 100 percent. There is very little vegetation in that area.
Radtke is not a good neighbor, nor does he care. I believe he is interested only in profits and could not care less about families or property values, which have been built up over the years through zoning restrictions by our Pitkin County government.
I have lived in Pitkin County for 31 years and on Lower River Road for 27 years. My great grandkids will someday own this beautiful home ranch that I have built, practically all by myself. Don't let someone move in a couple of months ago, lease the land and change the nature of our community. All our friends and neighbors have given so very much.