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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
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October 30, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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October 30, 2014
 

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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 -Mason County Journal- Page A-11 By NATALIE JOHNSON residential areas and limits the land in the county. natalie@masoncoun com size of growing operations in On July 22, the commission residential lots between 5 and voted 2-1 to repeal the morate- The Mason County Board of 10 acres, rium and directed the county's Commissioners again amendedSheldon said he also voted Planning Advisory Commis- its zoning code for commercial no because he was concernedsion (PAC) to review county marijuana producers and pro- that members of the public did zoning requirements. cessors, not have enough opportunities The Planning Advisory %Ve definitely cleaned it up to review the proposed changes Commission discussed the is- and made it a lot stronger," before they were adopted, sue Aug. 18 and during a public Commissioner Randy Neath- Several changes to the codehearing on Sept. 15 and made erlin said. "We have to find a were oral amendments made several recommendations to way to both protect those who by commissioners during thethe County Commission. are investing and protect those Oct. 21 meeting. Changes The PAC advised the County who are already invested." made during an Oct. 20 County Commission to continue to al- Commissioners Neatherlin Commission briefing were not low marijuana producers and and Terri Jeffreys voted in fa- made available until the hear- processors on residential lots as vor of the motion directly after ing Tuesday. The online copy of small as 5 acres but suggested a public hearing on the amend- the proposed changes last week requiring special-use permits ments Oct. 21. Commission was not the same as the version for outdoor grow operations in Tim Sheldon voted no. the commission approved, lots between 5 and 10 acres. Neatherlin said the updated"I don't think that's good gov- The PAC also recommended code could always be better but ernment," Sheldon said. "You're marijuana grow operations on said the changes help protect catching it on the fly and chang- residential lots between 5 and both marijuana business own- ing it. You have a proposal that 10 acres be limited to tier-1 ers and neighborhood residents, you came up with the day be- grows. Tier-1 grows use 2,000 The regulations now requirefore ... and then they want to square feet or less of plant special-use permits for mari- change it again ai~r some tes- canopy space. The plant canopy juana producers and processors timony. It's with oral amend- is the area of actual growing in areas zoned rural residential ments, nothing that's written plants in an operation and does 5, said Barbara Adkins, direc- down. I see them continuing to not include storage areas. tor of Mason County Depart-change this ordinance." The PAC also advised that ment of Planning and Commu-The County Commission the county increase setbacks nity Development. first adopted zoning regulations from property lines for produc- Areas zoned rural residen- for marijuana growers and pro- ers and processors. tial 5 lots are between 5 and cessors on Nov. 12, 2013. The chapter of code sepa- less than 10 acres of land per On July 1, after residents rately lists requirements for residential lot. primarily in the Sells Drive marijuana producers, proces- "I still believe that it should neighborhood southeast of sors and retailers in separate not be in rural residential," Shelton voiced concerns about sections, along with the zoning Sheldon said. "Rural residen- a marijuana producer seeking areas in which those operations tial means residential to me. a license in their neighbor- are allowed. I think it lowers the property hood, the County CommissionMarijuana producers were values of the neighbors." established a 60-day morato- previously allowed in all zoning The new code also prohibitsrium on growers and proces-areas, including residentiallots outdoor marijuana grows in sors in residentially zonedof 5 acres or larger. Marijuana producers are changed with the Oct. 21 vote. now allowed in commercial, , The chapter also includes a industrial and mixed-use zon- new section detailing develop- ing as well as rural natural re- ment standards. source land. The section also requires all Growers are also allowed inlighting at production and pro- residential areas provided they cessing sites to be shielded or have an indoor operation. Out- downcast so the light does not door grows are now prohibited stray onto neighboring proper- in all residential areas, ties. Neatherlin said the use of The development standards greenhouses and hoop housessection had a section requiring in residential areas is also pro- growers to maintain the =rural hibited, character" of the neighborhood, The zoning also limits the but the commission removed size of grow operations in the section. smaller residential lots, Neat- "We will be creating a bet- herlin said. ter version of the term 'rural The state Liquor Control characte that will be more ap- Board measures operations by plicable to the situation," Neat- the size of their plant canopy, herlin said. Tier-1 grows have a plant Growers and processors will canopy of 2,000 square feet or also be required to have all less; tier-2 grows are 2,000 to buildings at least 100 feet from 10,000 square feet; and tier- the nearest property line. 3 grows are 10,000 to 30,000 The commission initially square feet. considered requiring setbacks Only tier-1 grows are al- of 150 feet. Neatherlin said lowed in areas zoned rural that could be too restrictive. residential 5, or lots of about 5 ~'here's certain parcels that acres, are long and skinny, those are Tier-2 and tier-3 grows areusually in residential areas," allowed on residential proper- he said. ~l~hat doesn't give ties of 10 acres or larger,much room when you realize Marijuana processors in what the lay of the land is." residential areas will also be Applicants seeking to deviate required to meet building regu- from the rules in chapter 17 can lations non-agricultural build- apply for a special-use permit. ings for each zoning district. The new development start- Marijuana retailers are al-dards and zoning requirements lowed in rural commercial, will not apply to producers and general commercial, commer-processors that have already cial-industrial, highway corn- applied for permits with the mercial district, business park Mason County Department of and mixed-use areas. 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