Rural resident feels betrayed by county
I read the article, “Residents, county at odds over pot” (Sequim Gazette, July 9, page A-1). I wanted to hate the man who wanted to put a commercial marijuana grow operation in my neighborhood. I realized, however, he and I had a similar problem. We both trusted the county had our best interests at heart. He was led to believe that he would have no problem obtaining a Conditional Use Permit to change the zoning in a rural residential neighborhood to allow a commercial marijuana plant and I thought the county adopted growth plan and zoning protected our R5 rural residential neighborhood.
Neither thought we’d be in this position.
Fourteen years ago when I bought my property off Cassidy Road in Sequim, I did so because I wanted the quiet, safe, country life. Now I will be forced to exchange safety for increased crime, country for commercial, investment for decreased property values, and possibly damage to the local ecosystem.
In a community meeting on June 30, the neighbors on Cassidy Road affected by this marijuana plant met with county commissioner Jim McEntire and Director of Community Development Sheila Roark Miller. At this meeting we were told by McEntire that, “He would in no way limit this industry or prevent it from coming into the county. It was legal and lucrative.” Roark Miller said, “Marijuana growing does not constitute a significant enough risk to the environment or the neighborhood to merit any review of the application for a Conditional Use Permit.” No due diligence, just passed on to the hearing examiner with a Determination of Non Significance.
If you think this can’t happen to your neighborhood, think again. If this makes you concerned, it should. A hearing is set Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. at the Clallam County Courthouse, Room 160, with Mark Nichols the hearing commissioner. We will be there to voice our concerns. I urge you to join us. Let him know as voters, how you feel.