Routt County Commissioners explore conditions for allowing pot grows | CraigDailyPress.com
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Routt County Commissioners explore conditions for allowing pot grows

Marijuana issues in Routt County
Marijuana

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What: Routt County Board of Commissioners conduct a work session to study the possibility of allowing marijuana grow facilities in rural county. The agenda indicates public comment will not be taken.

When: 1:30 p.m., Monday Aug. 8

Where: Commissioners Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave.

Future pot hearings

• Aug. 9 — Initial work session with Board of County Commissioners

• Oct. 6 — Consideration of adoption with Planning Commission (If a second work session is needed, it will take place on this date.)

• Oct. 25 — Consideration of adoption with BOC (If a second work session is needed, it will take place on this date.)

• Nov. 17 — Consideration of adoption with PC (if a second work session was needed)

• Dec. 13 — Consideration of adoption with BOC (if a second work session was required)

Steamboat Springs — The Routt County Board of Commissioners will conduct the second in a series of public hearings Aug. 8 regarding the possibility of lifting a moratorium and allowing marijuana growing operations in rural areas of the county. — The Routt County Board of Commissioners will conduct the second in a series of public hearings Aug. 8 regarding the possibility of lifting a moratorium and allowing marijuana growing operations in rural areas of the county.

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners will conduct the second in a series of public hearings Aug. 8 regarding the possibility of lifting a moratorium and allowing marijuana growing operations in rural areas of the county.

The BOC has no intention of lifting the ban on retail and caregiver pot businesses at this time. County planning commissioners held a hearing on the subject July 23, and several members were open to the change.

It’s likely a portion of the Aug. 8 discussion will revolve around whether to treat growing operations as a use by right in the agriculture/forestry zone district or, instead, require growers to apply for special use permits to allow commercial operations in AF zones.

Commission Chairwoman Cari Hermacinski said Aug. 5 she is leaning toward allowing the grow operations as a use by right, something that could be undertaken by traditional agricultural operators. But Commissioner Doug Monger said he sees pot growing operations as a commercial activity and would not be in favor of making them a use by right.

Future pot hearings

• Aug. 9 — Initial work session with Board of County Commissioners

• Oct. 6 — Consideration of adoption with Planning Commission (If a second work session is needed, it will take place on this date.)

• Oct. 25 — Consideration of adoption with BOC (If a second work session is needed, it will take place on this date.)

• Nov. 17 — Consideration of adoption with PC (if a second work session was needed)

• Dec. 13 — Consideration of adoption with BOC (if a second work session was required)

“It’s going to be a commercial operation; there’s no way around it,” Monger said. “It’s not agriculture, so that leads to a special use permit.”

In that way, he said, county officials can ensure grow operations take place in enclosed structures, their size is limited and they meet requirements for water add wastewater.

In either case, grow operators would be required to meet stringent requirements.

And Monger said Friday he agrees it’s time to lift the ban on grow operations.

“We’ve had this moratorium, and we’ve been watching and listening to other counties,” he said. “I think it’s time we remove the moratorium for licensed grow operations that are on the up and up.”

Steamboat Today reported July 25 that the BOC had directed County Attorney Erick Knaus to formally alert County Clerk Kim Bonner of its intent to put a question on the November ballot seeking permission to impose a 5-percent excise tax on the first sale of unprocessed marijuana grown in rural areas of the county.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1 To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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