BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners approved a permit for a Cloverdale property, Wednesday, to allow a marijuana production facility on Goodrich Road. The area east of Sisters is currently zoned as Exclusive Farm Use.
After a number of recent applications from out-of-town business owners and people who moved to the area to open pot grows, Commissioner Tammy Baney is pleased a local property owner is requesting necessary zoning changes and permits. "The fact that a property owner who’s been in the area since 1974 and a member of the community, I think it poses a different face for this particular issue in terms of regulations and what it means. So, I’m pleased to see that someone who’s been in the community is going through this process and sees it as a path that they can use." Commissioner Phil Henderson agreed, but remains concerned about long-term community impacts, "It’s the business they plan to do, are different than many we’ve had that are just newer to the area that are just looking at this as an opportune area to do marijuana grows. These are people that have had this property, I recognize that. I still think they’re judged all the same – it doesn’t change the regulations, to me, because you don’t know if they’ll be the ones to keep it or if someone else becomes an investor; so you don’t really know how it all goes in the long run."
Henderson also expressed continued concern about water usage during the irrigation off-season, and whether the proposed odor control system will protect neighbors from the smell of pot. "I think there needs to be more proof given by applicants, as to the odor control system and proof that it works. And, the same somewhat with sound, so we can actually test the statutes." Baney says the applicant met all current requirements but admits adjustments may be needed to protect both the legal businesses and neighbors. "I think we have some changes that we would like to see, in terms of the regulations going forward. And, we’re actively engaging the community in that, but I think they’ve met the criteria as we’ve laid out. In terms of odor, I think there are a lot of community members in this particular area who will be keenly aware if it’s not working."
The permit allows for a 3,600-square foot structure with a maximum mature canopy of 2,500 square feet.