Pubdate: Thu, 12 Dec 2013
Source: Aspen Times, The  (CO)
Copyright: 2013 Aspen Times
Author: Jean-Marie Hamel


On May 15, 1990, the Board of County Commissioners of Pitkin County 
approved the formation of the Woody Creek Caucus. The function of the 
caucus is to make recommendations to the county commissioners in 
matters directly affecting the caucus area.

On Oct. 31, 2013, the Woody Creek Caucus voted 91 to 7 to deny the 
application of the Radtkes' proposed 19,000 square feet of marijuana 
greenhouses in two separate pods to be installed at 2520 Lower River 
Road with additional square footage on the east side of the road. 
Since the commissioners approved the formation of the Woody Creek 
Caucus, it seems only logical they listen and take to heart the results.

Up until now, the residents on Lower River Road have spent countless 
hours working with officials in Pitkin County to maintain the 
integrity of our neighborhood. We have chosen to preserve the past 
and present character of the community and endorse and uphold 
land-use policies that support, not sacrifice, our residences. Now, 
our healthy community is being threatened by a commercial marijuana 
operation that has no regard for our residents or preservation of 
those things considered advantageous for our neighborhood.

We are zoned AR-10, which means it is primarily a residential 
neighborhood that allows its residents to have a couple of horses, 
barn, grow hay to feed our horses, or a vegetable garden to feed our 
family. If the marijuana greenhouses are allowed to invade our 
neighborhood, the intention of our zoning is undermined because the 
purpose will change to commercial profit first and residential family 
second. The Radtkes, who have rented the land to grow marijuana for 
sale, are in it for business purposes, not to add to the integrity of 
the neighborhood. And, if their application is approved, how many 
other commercial grow operations will follow? No longer will we be a 
neighborhood; instead, we will become a road of high-security 
commercial grow sites. Destroying our vital neighborhood will have a 
tremendous negative impact on Pitkin County and the surrounding communities.

Strong neighborhoods make a community essential and add to its 
prosperity. Lower River Road has flourished and thrived thus far 
because its residents have supported the culture and values of the 
neighborhood. The marijuana greenhouse grow operation threatens to 
overturn this.

This dilemma could be solved by having the Radtkes locate their 
commercial grow operation in a commercial area that does not threaten 
established neighborhoods. It is no wonder the Snowmass/Capitol Creek 
Caucus unanimously voted to recommend prohibition of marijuana grow 
sites and the Emma Caucus favored a temporary ban.

I strongly urge the county commissioners to follow suit with the 
people's voice and deny the Radtkes' marijuana greenhouses to be 
constructed on Lower River Road, or at least put a temporary ban for 
one year to consider the effects on our residential neighborhood and 
community that can never be regained. We place our trust in you to 
preserve the integrity, values and unique qualities of our neighborhood.

Jean-Marie Hamel

Old Snowmass
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom