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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
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August 21, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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August 21, 2014

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Page A-2 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, Aug. 21,2014 Hearing on pot zoning will be revisited Sept. 15 By NATALIE JOHNSON natalie@masoncoun corn The lack of a quorum dur- ing a Mason County Planning Advisory Commission (PAC) meeting Monday didn't stop residents from sounding off on marijuana. The PAC delayed public hearings on a proposed rezon- ing and on amendments to Ma- son County Code regarding a multi-family housing tax incen- tive program, but had a discus- sion on marijuana zoning with attendees during the some- times disorganized meeting. The PAC will next officially discuss marijuana zoning at a public hearing at 6 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Mason County Com- mission chambers. Because only three of the sev- en members officially attended, the commission could not vote or conduct public hearings. Members Kristy Buck, Rob Drexler and Vicki Wilson at- tended the meeting. PAC mem- ber Bill Dewey also attended the meeting, but noted that his' term had recently expired. However, the commission decided to proceed with a workshop on zoning require- ments for commercial mari- juana companies. County residents were al- lowed to comment, and often engaged in conversation with one another or the PAC mem- bers during the meeting. Harstine Island resident Diane Edgin, a former PAC board member, asked how wa- ter use and other aspects of marijuana production would affect neighbors in residential areas. "The eyes of the state and nation are upon us," she said. "It behooves us to get this right. To me, this is an indus- trial operation." Other residents of Harstine Island and the area near Sells Drive south of Shelton, where marijuana grower Forbidden Farms is located, commented against allowing such busi- nesses in residential areas, cit- ing concerns about noise, smell, the environment and safety. "I agree, we shouldn't put these in neighborhoods," Drex- ler said. However, "neighborhoods" aren't well defined in county code, commission members discussed. "I don'tknow where a neigh- borhood begins and ends," Wil- son said, calling the term "sub- jective." Some meeting attendees said they wanted restrictions in county code that required marijuana businesses to lo- cate far from residential areas, such as theirs. "The zoning I believe should be as narrow as possible," said resident Kathy Gerchak. An ordinance approved 2-1 by the Mason County Commission in July repealed a three-week moratorium on the production and processing of marijuana in all but industrial and agricul- tural issues. It also directed the PAC to revisit several aspects of county code related to the busi- nesses, in an attempt to address some residents' concerns. The county commission directed the PAC to discuss increasing buffers between houses and marijuana produc- ers and processors in residen- tial areas from 100 to 250 feet, to discuss limiting producers in residential lots of 5 acres to Tier 1 growers, or growers with a plant canopy of less than 2,000 square feet, and to limit Tier 2 and 3 operations to lots 10 acres or larger. Tier 2 producers can grow up to 10,000 square feet of plants and Tier 3 can grow up to 30,000 square feet. The state Liquor Control Board recently decreased Tier 3 operations to 21,000 feet because of the large number of applicants. Edward Melillo, who has a pending producer license near Belfair, asked the PAC to re- member his property rights as well. He said a setback require- ment of 250 feet from homes and his property lines would make his property useless. Wilson said she was "not really sympathetic," to some residents' assertions that they don't mind the marijuana in- dustry, but don't want it in their backyard. "My interest is in reason- able, good public policy," she said. "Whether I want it in my backyard is not relevant." . MINUTI~ or every SUNDAY morning. A full menu to choose from which includes coffee & juice. Everyone welcome. 9:00 am to 11:00 am 113 W. Cota, next to Huntington Glass Put on your RACING-GEAR folks... it's time for the 23 annual AUGUST 23rd Pre-register at Model T Time trials 3 p.m. - Races 4 p.m. sponsored by 3PROSuild Where the fun begins in Hoodsport! Full Menu Cocktails 24281 N. US Hwy. 101 Hoodsport WA 98548 ~. Shelton 426-5060 j , (360) 877-9883 www, sheltoncinemas.com 24 Hour Movie InTo 4264000 H_ 517 Franklin St. Shelton -- Showtimes for August 22-28 U EXPENDABLES 3 WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL Daily 4:05 & 6:45 Daily 4:30 & 7:0D Additional Shows Additional Shows Fri - Sat 9:20 Fri - Sat 9:25 Sat- Sun 1:30 Sat - Sun 2"00 [] [] 182 SE Brewer Rd. Shelton 24 Hour Movie Info (360) 426-4707 .,www.SkyLineDrive-ln.com Showtimes for August 22-28 OPEN ALL WEEK -- Gates Open 8pm - Show at Dusk GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY [] INTO THE STORM []