Klickitat board lifts pot-growing moratorium

It’s now legal for state-licensed growers and processors to operate in all zoning districts in the unincorporated area of Klickitat County.

The County Board of Commissioners made it so on Dec. 17 when they lifted a 60-day-old moratorium on the growing and processing of marijuana in those areas where the county is the land use authority. The county board continued the interim ban on retail sales of marijuana in unincorporated areas without setting out a plan of action for dealing with retails sales and directed the planning department report back to it within 60 days on the implementation of Initiative 502 in Klickitat County.

The ordinance enacted by the county board last week allows the growing and processing of marijuana in all zoning districts provided state-licensed operators can comply with all applicable state laws and all Washington State Liquor Control Board regulations.

The exceptions to the rule apply to general industrial and industrial park zoning districts, in which marijuana growing and processing must occur within enclosed buildings, and the growing and processing of marijuana as a home occupation, which are not allowed.

Nearly two dozen people attended a public hearing Dec. 10 in Goldendale and 11 offered their opinions to the county board on whether the moratorium on marijuana enterprises should be lifted, partially lifted, or continued. The county board also received more than two dozen written comments from county residents that unanimously expressed support for lifting the moratorium.

“Nearly all written and oral comments supported lifting the moratorium in its entirety, immediately,” Planning Director Curt Dreyer told The Enterprise. “There was a round of applause following each person’s testimony — even the person supporting continuation of the moratorium received subdued applause.

“The typical comments were: The county needs jobs and lifting the moratorium will allow residents to create their own jobs; and the Liquor Control Board regulations address all relevant issues.”

To date, the LCB has received 13 applications for producer licenses from Klickitat County applicants; 11 for processor licenses, and four for retail sales licenses. The LCB stopped accepting license applications on Dec. 20.

A preliminary analysis of land use distribution by the planning department indicated 18 of the applications for production are in extensive agriculture (20-acre minimum), forest resource (20-acre minimum), or general rural (5-acre minimum) zoning districts. Four are within areas zoned rural center.

The planning department had recommended a lifting of the ban to allow for state-licensed marijuana growers and processors to operate in general rural and extensive agriculture zoning districts, or on a minimum of 5 acres, and to direct the planning commission to develop recommendations for the regulation growing and processing in other zones, and of retail sales in unincorporated areas. The county board, however, chose to not act on them.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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