Newspaper Archive of
Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
News of Mason County, WA
Mason County Journal
Get your news here
July 24, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
PAGE 18     (18 of 48 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 18     (18 of 48 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
July 24, 2014

Newspaper Archive of Shelton Mason County Journal produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2021. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

: Ii I ! ! IH i J " Page A-18 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, July 24, 2014 continued from page A-1 concerns about a marijuana producer in their neighborhood. Residents of that neighborhood and other residen- tial areas said they feared increased traffic, odor, pollution, poor water quality and increased crime from the operations. "I voted for the moratorium because there were concerns that had been brought up," Jeffreys said. "I spent the last two weeks trying to investi- gate these issues. As I tried to inves- tigate the reality of all these concerns ... I realized that there's so many un- knowns." Jeffreys, who cast the deciding vote both to enact and repeal the morato- rium, said many of the residents' fears were addressed by state and local laws. She said other businesses in resi- dential areas, such as day cares, cause increased traffic, that water quality and pollution concerns are mitigated by the state's requirement for grow- ers to use all-organic fertilizers and no pesticides, that any odor will be moni- tored by the Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency, and that it's too early to tell how property values will be af- fected. Jeffreys also discussed residents' concerns about the proximity of the operations to homes with children. The state already requires growers, processors and retailers to be 1,000 feet from schools and other places chil- dren congregate. "I don't know what that exposure does to a child, I really don't," she said. "We can't control where a child's going to go. If they walk by a liquor store, what does that mean? Are they going to want to drink? I don't know how we can mitigate against that." The moratorium restricted the op- erations to indus- trial and agricul- tural areas, leaving 28 companies, some weeks or days away from getting their state licenses, un- able to operate at their cfirrent loca- Neatherlin tion. More than 30 people spoke both for and against the moratorium at the public hearing Tuesday night. "I've done everything possible to make sure all regulations are fol- lowed," said grower Michael Tucker. "It'll be devastating if I can't move ahead." Tucker, who has applied for a state license to operate on Toonerville Drive in Belfair, asked the commissioners to lift the moratorium, saying he invest- ed his life savings in his business. "Our impact is negligible, our smell is virtually nothing, we are a complete- ly sealed environment," he said. "We were allowed to come here and wel- comed to come here; now we're weeks away from finalizing our license." Deb Petersen, a member of the Hood Canal School Board of Directors and Mason Transit Authority Board member, said she has applied for a license to process marijuana on her property on Bambi Farms Road in the Skokomish Valley. "I believe I do have a right to have a business on my property that is not only legal, but is heavily regulated and overseen by the state of Washington, will create jobs and commerce, will generate tax revenues for our commu- nity and that will help put an end to the black market," she said. Petersen, a medical marijuana pa- tient, said she began processing mari- juana into oils and butter to find effec- tive ways to deal with pain and sleep- lessness. "I believe their concerns are fear- based and I don't believe there is any basis for that fear," she said. Supporters of the moratorium also spoke at the hearing. Diane Hoosier, a resident of Sells Drive, said she is not against 1-502, but does not want a production facility in her neighborhood. "I have a 14-month-old son who will now have to grow up down the street from I don't know what," she said. Nick Sells said he feared an in- crease in murders and home invasions in areas with marijuana production and said a state document stated that these fears were legitimates. "The growers of course are going to tell you it's no problem," he said. Jeffreys addressed that concern, saying she didn't know where the doc- ument came from. "I think that's the most irrespon- sible document com- ing out of the state I've ever heard of in my life," she said. "I don't know what the origination of that document is." Mark Sylvester, Sylvester representing pro- ducer license appli- cant Staffy's Garden, said legal pro- ducers of marijuana will not create more crime than the illegal marijuana market that has existed for decades in Washington. "Crime happens every day," he said. "We should continue to be concerned about meth, heroin, cocaine and illegal grow operations ... not legal marijua- na operations." The sometimes-heated meeting lasted more than two hours, and in- cluded banter between opponents and supporters of the moratorium and be- tween the county commissioners. Commissioner Sheldon expressed frustration that the commissioners had a staff report recommending lift- ing the moratorium that he had not been briefed on. "Because I missed an hour of the briefings, now I'm seeing an ordi- nance amending the original ordi- nance and appealing the moratorium and this is the first time I've seen it," he said. Neatherlin responded, saying the moratorium was proposed Monday, June 31, and approved the next day without being available to the public for review. = "Is that much different than the 17- hour window we gave when we created the moratorium?" he asked. After public testimony, Neath- erlin asked Sheldon to defend his opinion that the moratorium should continue. "Just say what ybu're going to say Randy. You want t0 put words in my mouth? You want assign some mo- tives to me? I'm not nterested in that. If you want to make your public state- ment, make your public statement," Sheldon said. "I'm fine with my posi- tion. I'm not going to play politics with you." i At one point, members of the audi- ence asked the commissioners to stop bickering and vote. Producers and processors can now locate their businesses in all areas allowed by the county's original zon- ing code, which are most areas in the county, including residential areas five acres or larger. After the Planning Advisory Com- mittee reviews the county zoning, an- other public hearing will be scheduled to take testimony. continued from page A-1 properties for temporary homeless camps and establishes regulations. The law also prohibits municipalities from banning the temporary camps. The citfs proposed regulations, pre- sented at the Shelton City Commission's meeting Monday night, allow churches to host as many as 100 people in tempo- rary homeless camps for up to 90 days. A provision allows the city to lower the maximum occupants allowed. The proposed regulations require the perimeter of the camp to be at least 20 feet from the neighboring property or public right of way. A 6-foot temporary visual screen would be required around the perimeter of the camp. Minors would be not be allowed, and a minimum number of on-site parking spaces would be required. A managing agency would be required to provide and enforce a written code of conduct. The commission will host a public hearing on the proposed ordinance at its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Shelton Civic Center, 525 W. Cota St. Steve Goins, the city's executive direc- tor of community and economic devel- opment, said establishing city rules on temporary homeless camps ensures they are managed properties, and guarantees churches are allowed to exercise their re- ligious freedoms. The city has received no requests from churches to establish temporary home- less camps, he said. Kathleen Haggard, the city's attor- ney, said the rules apply to all federally recognized religious institutions. Church officials can now apply to the city to host temporary ,homeless encampments, she "i weu|d sure hepe th:s option wee't have te be Gary Cronce, mayor of Shelton said. I "They could come to you and force you to sign a permit ... This gives ground rules," Haggard said. The encampmentS can be placed on any church-owned property, not just the szte of the church, Haggard stud. In the proposed ordinance, the man- aging agency and hosts would provide a written code of conduct that at a mini- mum prohibits violence, open flames, possession or use of alcohol and drugs, trespassing on private property in the surrounding neighborhood, and littering in the camp and neighborhood. Mayor Gary Cronce said that in a town of 10,000 with Smaller church con- gregations, allowing 50 people instead of 100 makes more sense. He pointed out the opening of the Mason County Shelter as already filling a need for the homeless. "I would hope this option won't have to be exercised," he said. Cronce said that he does not oppose the ordinance, "but it has to be a custom fit." Shelton resident Marilyn Vogler urged the commission to delay action on the proposed ordinance until it has established its permanent committee ad- dressing poverty issues in the ciSy.