Hayden planning commission recommends not allowing marijuana grows

Matt Stensland

— The Hayden Town Council will ultimately decide whether to allow marijuana grows in the town.

On Thursday night, the Hayden Planning Commission voted against allowing them, but is still passing along to the town council an ordinance that would regulate potential grows.

Hayden Town Manager David Torgler said Friday that about 25 people attended Thursday night’s meeting.

Some were against the grows.

Torgler said one woman said she moved to Hayden because her family did not want to be exposed to marijuana activity.

In general, people were concerned about the town’s image, Torgler said.

Others supported allowing grows because of the perceived boost they would give the town’s economy.

Torgler said parents spoke and said they supported having grows, adding that they teach their children good values.

“As one person said, ‘The cat’s out of the bag. Why should Hayden reject those jobs,’” Torgler said.

Three of the five planning commissioners attended the meeting. Commissioners Donna Hellyer and Tim Frentress voted against allowing grows. Commissioner Amy Williams voted in favor of allowing grows.

However, commissioners also voted in favor of a second motion indicating that, if the town council wants to allow grows, it should adopt the ordinance crafted by the planning commission.

The ordinance addresses nuisances such as odors coming from grows and also includes a requirement that grows may not be located within 500 feet of a park, school or daycare facility.

The ordinance calls for grows to be located in areas zoned as light industrial. That includes land near Yampa Valley Regional Airport and in the Valley View Business Park, where Hayden resident Rodney McGowen has proposed opening a grow.

There are also areas of light industrial closer to downtown, but it is unclear whether grow operations in that area would meet the 500-foot distance requirement.

The planning commission passed a third motion recommending that, if the town council chooses to allow grows, it should limit to 12 the number of marijuana plants permitted in a residence.

The town council could have a first reading of the ordinance June 4. The agenda for that meeting will be posted by Tuesday.

The town council could also take up the issue June 18.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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