The Lincoln County Commission has decided to give recreational marijuana growers more opportunity to grow their crops since there are so few areas within the county to grow them. Much of the county is timber and farmland which doesn’t leave much room for marijuana growing or anything else.
The exact provision allows parcels as small as 10 acres to be used to grow cannabis outdoors, but added that it must be grown no closer than 500 feet from a house that is not part of the marijuana grow property. Although the planning commission had recommended the minimum parcel size to be 20 acres, County Commissioner Terry Thompson reasoned that the 20 acre size requirement wouldn’t produce very many places in the county where there would be much room to grow the plant. He also pointed out that cannabis is a bonafide, genuine agricultural crop that shouldn’t be hamstrung with excessive regulation – like too few sites to grow it. He said agriculture, apart from trees, is .2% of the county’s economic engine and so, he reasoned, the county ought to give the cannabis a try by giving growers enough opportunity in as many places are appropriate – which will likely occur in the eastern areas of the county. Commission Chairman Bill Hall agreed.
But Commissioner Doug Hunt disagreed saying that rural residents shouldn’t have to put up with possible smells from marijuana grows. Thompson shot back saying that farms smell. It’s the smell of agriculture. People who live on farm land know what to expect. Again Bill Hall agreed with Thompson and the 10 acre minimum size for an outdoor retail cannabis crop was agreed to on a 2 to 1 vote – Hunt dissenting.
Other aspects of cannabis management in Lincoln County that were agreed to by the commissioners involved allowing retail sales outlets and wholesale operations within a fairly short distance from a residential area.
Other provisions allows recreational marijuana production on properties zoned Rural Residential RR-5 and Rural Residential RR-10 and must be located at least 250 feet from any neighboring dwelling not owned by the grower.
In the agriculture conservation and timber conservation zones, indoor recreational marijuana production must be located at least 250 feet from a neighboring dwelling not owned by the grower.
In the agriculture and timber conservation zones, outdoor production of recreational marijuana must not be within 500 feet from a neighboring dwelling not owned by the grower.
For planned industrial I-P zoning, no set minimum separation is required between a marijuana production facility and a neighboring dwelling not owned by the grower.
The above provisions were tentatively approved by the commissioners. All of this comes back before the commission with language corrections and and other changes in January.
The commissioners tentatively approved setting up a special election in May for the city of Toledo’s efforts to rehabilitate their old pool, which serves folks within the Toledo city limits as well as those who live outside the city limits.
The pool rehab effort involves a property tax increase of 77-cents per thousand dollars of assessed valution on all property within the proposed Toledo Pool and Recreation District – which is proposed to be the same at the Toledo Rural Fire District. The reasoning is that people far and wide use the pool, not just those living within the Toledo City Limits.
Should the measure pass at the polls, the owner of a home whose assessed value is $100,000 would pay $77 a year more more in property taxes – $154 a year more for those whose home is assessed at $200,000, and those living in a $300,000 home would pay $231 a year more in property taxes.
The commissioners will hold two public hearings on the proposed tax levy for the Toledo Pool and Recreation District on January 25th and February 15th. During that time the Toledo City Council is expected to also agree to put the issue on the May ballot.