A new recreational marijuana grow facility could be coming to Mancos after the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission decided to recommend the project for approval.
The 5,000-square-foot grow facility could be moving into part of the former Metallics West building at 651 N. Main St. if the town trustees approve the project.
The owners of The Medicine Man in Cortez, Sherry and Gilbert Garcia, plan to buy the building and open a grow called New Millennium Wholesale and employ eight to 15 people. They hope to rent out the rest of the facility to other businesses.
The odor that the grow might produce concerned one neighbor, Donna Schmittel, because she has a severe marijuana allergy.
“I am definitely not in favor of having this pot farm a few feet from my home,” she said.
She also said that the sign announcing the new marijuana grow was not visible from the road, and more people from the neighborhood would have likely come to speak if they had known about the project.
However, the building in question is zoned light industrial, and marijuana cultivation is allowed by town code. The size of the grow requires a special use permit and the town and impose some reason and enforceable conditions to reduce the impacts on neighbors, explained Cindy Simpson chairwoman.
The Garcias told the board their facility will use charcoal filters to eliminate any odors.
The board also asked them to prepare a landscaping plan and to place their air conditioning units away from highly visible areas to help reduce noise.
The commission also took up the question of fees in lieu of open space dedication. The town has been requiring $5,500 for every acre of land a developer planned to build on instead of an open space dedication.
The commission recommended lowering the fee to $1,000 per acre to bring the Mancos requirements more in line with comparable with nearby communities and encourage annexation.
“It puts it more within reach of a mom and pop developer,” Simpson said.
The commission set aside both livestock regulations and may set a special meeting to finish the new regulations.