Pubdate: Sun, 29 Apr 2012
Source: Summit Daily News (CO)
Copyright: 2012 Kevin M. Mastin
Author: Kevin M. Mastin


There is an important issue currently being discussed in Summit County
and I'd like to draw attention to it.

It involves writing a code amendment for commercial medical marijuana
cultivating facilities to be built and operated on
agriculturally-zoned land (A-1), primarily in the Lower Blue River
Basin. These facilities are called Optional Premise Cultivating
operations; they are currently banned in unincorporated Summit County
and are limited to commercially zoned land.

I think this is a bad amendment and is a misapplication of zoning (for
too many reasons to outline in this letter). Whether you agree with me
or disagree is not my critical issue: It is the lack of public input
that has been solicited on this important change.

Although the county did make public notice of the meeting, the topic
of the change regarding the A-1 zoning aspect - which is the crux of
the report - was not mentioned in the notice. When the Lower Blue
Planning Commission reviewed it, there was a quorum of six
commissioners and no one from the public.

I attended the following Countywide Planning Commission and was one of
only two public attendees, I spoke in opposition, but as per protocol,
I wasn't allowed to ask questions or have any sort of follow-up.

Frustrated by the lack of publicity on the issue, I sent a message to
as many neighbors as I could. Most were unaware of the A-1 component
and were upset that the residents of the Lower Blue had not been
contacted, invited or notified.

A few neighbors and I attended this week's Board of County
Commissioners work session. We were each allowed to make a statement,
but dialogue and questions were not permitted. My request was for the
Board of County Commissioners to remove the A-1 allowance from the
proposed amendment.

The very first sentence of the Lower Blue Master Plan Vision Statement
reads "Carefully coordinate, consider and respect citizen
involvement." The county may feel it has have done all that which is
required, but they did not respect the intent of our master plan. I
feel strongly that regarding a code change as important as this,
respect and citizen involvement is paramount. Obviously, I would like
everyone to side with me on this issue, but that's not the point. The
point is to allow an open conversation.

Kevin M. Mastin candidate for Summit County Commissioner
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D