Public Gives Comment Against Marijuana Business and Cultivation in Residential Districts

logo-w-sunburstKayla Desroches/KMXT

Permitting marijuana cultivation in borough residential districts has proved controversial. At a special work session last week, the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and borough staff talked over Marijuana Task Force recommendations on what regulation should look like.

During public comment, several community members spoke against cultivation in residential districts, including Deborah Kirk, who lives in rural residential, or RR.

“I have a nice single family home in a neighborhood of like houses. By reading these task force recommendations, if followed, it looks like I could wake up to the possibility of a marijuana grow operation next door to me. The odor, probable chain link, fencing, industrial lighting, whatever this is going to entail, I’m not sure what to expect at this point, it doesn’t belong in a family neighborhood.”

The assembly took another look at the residential districts where marijuana cultivation would be allowed conditionally.

Assemblyman Matt Van Daele said the RR zone is meant to provide opportunities for large lot, low density residential land uses while prohibiting commercial and industrial land uses, and RR1 and RR2 are meant to cater to general agriculture uses.

“To me it would seem more logical to remove the RR from the cultivation.”

“Just put it with R2, R2, R3…” said Borough Mayor Dan Rohrer.

“Exactly,” said Van Daele. “Because it’s already supposed to provide general agricultural uses, and just doing a very cursory search of the zoning in the villages, the only one that I found was RR2 in Port Lions and the others are R1 in the residential.”

Assemblyman Scott Smiley said he’d agree to limit cultivation to RR1, RR2, and conservation districts for conditional use, and both Van Daele and Assemblyman Dave Townsend said they’d support that.

The assembly and staff will continue discussion over the next few weeks. The next assembly work session is on Thursday.


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