Silt rejects pot growing operation |

Silt rejects pot growing operation

Residents of Silt crowd into Town Hall on Monday evening for a public hearing on High Q's proposed marijuana grow facility near a subdivision.
Colleen O’Neil / Post Independent |

SILT — With a crowd of nearly 200 people overflowing into the hallway in protest of a large marijuana cultivation and manufacturing operation, the Silt Town Board on Monday unanimously voted against allowing the facility.

The proposed special-use permit was for a two-story, 22,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation and processing plant that would have been located on a 7.55-acre parcel of land zoned rural/agricultural.

The site between two subdivisions was less than a football field away from some homes.

“The Silt municipal code is supposed to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the community,” said Joe Carpenter, president of the Eagle’s View subdivision. “I have three concerns. This, to me, fails to meet the criteria. The marijuana fails to meet the federal criteria. and this location is inappropriate.”

Carpenter acknowledged that Amendment 64 to Colorado’s Constitution legalizing marijuana for people older than 21 was approved by more than 50 percent of Silt residents, but said a manufacturing plant was not part of the plan.

The town’s Planning and Zoning Department approved the plan for the grow operation in early December and residents were reportedly notified at that time, although some claim they were not told about the project at all.

“I like to sit in the hot tub and look the stars,” said Jim Ortell, whose back yard is 237 feet from location of the proposed plant. “But my biggest question is, what is the benefit for the town of Silt?”

Neighbors organized after the holidays, and a story last week in the Post Independent generated vigorous debate.

One after another, concerned residents approached the board with their concerns, before a vote was finally taken.

High Q LLC, which operates a retail marijuana shop at 730 Main St. in Silt, proposed a two-story, 20,000-square-foot operation and four 3,000-square-foot greenhouses. The operators contended the growing operation was just farming and wouldn’t bother neighbors.

Despite approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Town Board voted 7-0 to reject the special use permit.

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