(Watch the Town Council meeting below article)
After months of comparative research, council was presented with ideas for an ordinance that would restrict resident marijuana growth in Town to a 32 square foot space; not exceeding the height of 10 feet. Led by Castle Rock Police, as well as several other Colorado municipal agencies, the comprehensive study gave way to very detailed, additional legal guidelines, for cultivating local Mary Jane.
Over the course of the study, specific data was taken from places like Parker, Denver and Castle Pines- all of whom abide by state laws for marijuana growth. Colorado law states that individuals are limited to growing a maximum of six plants and that licensed caregivers, having an individual allowance, also have the ability to be in charge of any additional amounts for – and up to – five adults in their care.
That’s where the number of plants in homes or commercial facilities can start to have a substantial presence. “In Castle Pines, they restrict the number of plants to six plants per adult in the household, however if you have a caregiver in the household and two adults, you can see how the number of plants in the household can quickly multiply in number,” commented Castle Rock Police Chief, Jack Cauley.
When a large number of plants are grown, police are also seeing this lead to building code violations. The proposed regulations would reduce the dangers in the environment that can be created by marijuana enthusiasts. These non-permitted modifications can include things like: using excessive electricity, promoting the growth of mold and excessive pesticide use.
Another community concern the final draft of the ordinance will address are complaints from residents about the smell of neighbor’s herbs in the air and water waste. A sizable amount of plants growing together put off a strong scent that is expelled through house ventilation into the air and also into the water. “One of the biggest complaints has been odor,” Cauley continued, “This can adversely affect neighbors and neighborhoods.”
As the list of regulations submitted by Chief Cauley concluded, additional details were added by Tyler Henson, President of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, for council’s consideration. Henson suggested that the new rules only allow the use of chemicals that have been designated for indoor use. This addition would further work toward a goal to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents.
And walking the fine line of allowing local growers to flex their rights while not negatively impacting the lives of others is tricky. Lawmakers are trying to find a happy medium that will satisfy the public, while also enforcing the penalty of $1000.00 and up to a year in jail, for breaking the rules. “We have to be careful on the constitutionality of it as well. We’re trying to find a way that they can do that (grow marijuana), but be safe,” Cauley noted.
Several concerned citizens, mostly from the Meadows neighborhood, then voiced their opinions and experiences, having been adversely affected by neighbors they suspect are growing plants.
After listening to concerns from the public, Mayor Donahue made a motion for staff to notice and present the ordinance at first reading after referral to the planning commission. The topic will soon be revisited at a future meeting.
*See video for a complete exposition of the rules of the proposed ordinance*