Marijuana plan draws Marrowstone’s attention

Allison Arthur aarthur@ptleader.com
Posted 4/25/17

An application by Olympus Gardens to build a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse to grow marijuana on Marrowstone Island has drawn the attention of islanders.

Austin Smith of Seattle filed a request …

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Marijuana plan draws Marrowstone’s attention

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An application by Olympus Gardens to build a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse to grow marijuana on Marrowstone Island has drawn the attention of islanders.

Austin Smith of Seattle filed a request with Jefferson County March 7 for a cottage-industry permit to process recreational marijuana inside a 10,080-square-foot, 23-foot-tall greenhouse at 9272 Flagler Road in Nordland.

Patrick Hopper, assistant planner for Jefferson County’s Department of Community Development, said April 20 that Smith’s permit is a conditional-use discretionary permit and that no public hearing is required unless there are concerns and opposition.

The deadline to comment on the permit application is 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 3.

As of April 20, Hooper said he had not heard from many people on Marrowstone. A legal notice appeared in The Leader’s April 19 edition.

Smith, whose phone number is published on the application, was called three times, but could not be reached for comment.

Kevin Coker, who is serving as Smith’s representative, according to county documents, also could not be reached for comment by press deadline Tuesday afternoon.

COMMENTS COMING

While Hooper had not received many comments, they are coming.

The proposal was published on Marrowstone Island’s Next Door neighborhood website, which only Marrowstone and Nordland residents can access.

“It’s been furious on the Nextdoor site. There’s been nonstop commenting,” said one woman, who called The Leader on Monday to voice concerns about the lack of notice given to islanders about the project. She did not want her named used.

The woman posted an invitation to islanders to call The Leader about the issues likely to surface over the marijuana proposal.

And people started calling.

“My concern is that it’s an industrial grow. We’re a rural island, and we have rules and regulations,” said Linda Goodman, who lives on Marrowstone and saw the postings on Nextdoor.

Goodman said there are concerns about any operation using resources of the island and not having a vested interest in the community.

“We want things to look like the Nordland store, not an airplane hangar,” Goodman said.

In addition to the size of the project, Goodman expressed concern about water use, stormwater runoff, runoff in general, as well as light, noise and odor concerns.

John Comstock of Marrowstone Island called and said he was also was opposed to the project.

“Why haven’t they explored a more appropriate area? We already had this on Gybe Ho [Road], where it was too big, too much water use, and potential pesticide and chemical runoff,” Comstock said, adding that there are concerns about water use, despite information contained in the permit application.

Comstock repeated that he would like to know more about why Smith wanted to put a greenhouse in a rural neighborhood and not closer to Port Townsend, where there are other marijuana-grow operations.

“Even if it were a giant mushroom-growing operation, it needs to be in scale with our rural community here,” Comstock said Tuesday.

Smith owns the property on Flagler Road, according to county records.

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