Grand County planning board says no to proposed marijuana grow facility

Hank Shell

Grand County Planning Commission voted four to two against issuing a special use permit for a proposed marijuana grow facility near Granby.

The Department of Planning and Zoning recommended the commission approve the permit.

“We do have to recommend approval on this,” said Kristen Manguso, the county’s planning director, citing the support of Grand County voters for recreational marijuana.

“The voting record shows that the majority of people, even if it’s one more than the minority, are in support of marijuana,” Manguso said.

The property, currently owned by Granby Realty Partners, LLC., is located adjacent to Neils Lunceford landscaping near the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and U.S. Highway 34.

The proposed facility would have created one to five jobs and initially grown 200 plants, though later modifications would have expanded its capacity to between 500 and 900 plants, said Kevin Speier, the co-owner and CEO of MMK Limited, the Denver-based company which sought to build the facility.

Concerns over lighting, odor, proximity to Granby

During the hearing, commissioners expressed concern about the plant odor the facility would produce.

Speier said the facility would have a triple carbon filtration system that would eliminate most odors.

Some commissioners were also concerned that the facility would be too near to Granby, which expressed its intent to force annexation of the area in a last-minute letter from Town Manager Wally Baird to the commissioners.

“The Town Board has approved a motion for the Town Staff to begin the process of annexing the property as an enclave,” wrote Baird. “Since the Town does not allow for the propagation, processing, or sale of marijuana products or plants, the activity at the site would be required to cease as a part of the Town.”

Some commissioners also expressed concern about the intrusiveness of lighting at the facility, though Manguso noted that the facility is already in a heavily lit area.

MMK Limited can still appeal the planning commission’s decision with the board of county commissioners.

Speier told the Sky-Hi News it was a possibility, though legally he could not say for sure.

Grand County Commissioners adopted an ordinance regulating marijuana facilities in the county in January 2014.

Planning commissioners Ingrid Karlstrom and Steve DiSciullo were the only members of the board who voted to approve the permit.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.

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