County commissioners approve rezone for possible Tabernash marijuana grow
July 29, 2014
The Grand County Board of Commissioners has approved rezoning for a parcel that could become Grand County's first licensed marijuana grow operation.
The board approved the rezoning of the former Highland Lumber parcel in Tabernash from tourist zone district to business zone district at its July 22 meeting.
Wells Fargo Bank took ownership of the 11-acre parcel and building after foreclosing on the owner.
Realtor Lance Gutersohn, who represents Wells Fargo, sought to rezone the land from tourist to business.
The property is already under contract with a potential buyer who intends to turn the facility into a medical marijuana grow operation, Gutersohn previously told the Sky-Hi News.
The rezoning of the property now opens the door for the buyer to close on the property.
The commissioners voted to table the proposal at their July 15 meeting, as they were unable to reach a consensus about whether the parcel's future use should be considered in the rezoning proposal.
During the July 22 meeting, the county attorney provided the board with a memo and recommendation that the commissioners have the regulatory authority within existing regulations and licensing laws to regulate marijuana grow facilities.
County Planning Director Kris Manguso recommended that the board approve the rezoning request.
The argument resurfaced during the hearing that the rezoning request would allow a greater range of uses for the property, making it more marketable if the current potential buyer backs out.
"If in fact this marijuana thing does shut down, it's all the more reason for us to have that business zoning, so that if for some reason there's somebody that wants to bring a business to Grand County and buy that property, then they'll be able to do that," Gutersohn said previously. "The marijuana thing doesn't have anything to do with our request here. We're looking for business zoning for this building."
Board rejects fraud audit
The Grand County Board of Commissioners will not approve a fraud audit following discussion at their July 22 meeting.
The board seemed to agree to a request for a fraud audit from the group Citizens for Transparency in Grand County Government at the board's July 15 meeting, though it never made a motion to do so.
The commissioners determined at their July 22 meeting that a fraud audit was unwarranted, as they have already performed a forensic accounting investigation and are working to implement changes based on the findings from that investigation.
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.