07/14/2014: “Council Discussion On Large Greenhouses Continues Monday Morning”
The County Councils have heard and voiced their own concerns on potential negative impacts from the building and operation of industrial sized greenhouses, and will take up the matter again on Monday (07-14-14, (9:15 am).
When the land use regulations were drafted the possibility of large commercial/industrial agricultural operations was looked at, and at that time only feed lots were identified as potential problems, and so they were outright banned.
Greenhouse operations were not as common in food production in the past as it has become, but with the legalization of permitted marijuana grow operations there are now plans to construct multiple large green houses in the county, and there is little, to no, requirements on size and negative impacts.
And it is not just the size and location not addressed in the current land use laws, it is also noise from fans and negative operation impacts; night illumination coming out of the green houses; disposal and use of concentrated fertilizers and additives, and increased traffic on non-public roads are but some of the issues that have neighbors, and the council, concerned.
And maybe not least, and not last: the loss of usable farm land to buildings that need not be on prime farm land.
Loss of farm land is a major concern to the San Juan County Ag groups, and a memo has been submitted to the Council for discussion (public input allowed) on Monday (access agenda HERE) that address some of those concerns.
The entire memo may be accessed by clicking HERE (pdf 459\k file) reposted from Island Guardian www.islandguardian.com