The owners of two Boulder County farms are objecting to a proposal to build a large marijuana greenhouse operation near their properties, saying it’s not a good fit for their family-friendly neighborhood.
The proposed operation at 3105 75th St. would comprise four 4,000-square-foot greenhouses and one 5,040-square-foot warehouse on a 7.9-acre parcel of land near the corner of Valmont Road and North 75th Street, according to the application.
“How do you explain on a school tour, ‘That is where marijuana is grown’?” said Paul Cure, owner of Cure Organic Farm, which, at 7416 Valmont Road, is next to the site.
The planned pot greenhouse is connected to Laszlo Bagi, whose marijuana operation in northern Boulder County was raided by federal agents in November. Bagi has not been charged in that investigation.
The application was submitted by Pantera Properties LLC and lists Bagi’s contact information. Colorado Secretary of State records show Wendy Bagi is the agent for Pantera Properties.
When contacted by phone Thursday, Bagi told the Camera he is an investor in the property but will not be involved in the marijuana operation at the site. He declined to comment further.
The owner of the property, listed as William Munn, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Bagi’s pot facility at 6859 North Foothills Highway was the subject of a raid in November by Drug Enforcement Administration and Boulder County sheriff’s officials, who seized $1 million in marijuana from the site. It was part of a series of raids across the Front Range in an ongoing Department of Justice investigation.
The proposed greenhouse operation in east Boulder has drawn the ire of farmers who say they often have children visiting their farms and don’t want a marijuana operation in their neighborhood.
Cure said his farm has children during the summer for educational tours and programs, and he doesn’t want them exposed to a marijuana operation.
“There is no aspect of it that is positive for these kids,” he said.
Bob Munson, owner of Munson Farms — just across Valmont from the site — said he also hosts children at his farm and that the land should be considered an educational area.
“You wouldn’t put something like this near a school, and that’s basically what we have,” Munson said.
But Robert Perletz, the planner for the operation listed on the application, said the buildings will not be identifiable as marijuana greenhouses.
“You wouldn’t know what it is,” Perletz said. “It’s very much like any other industrial building in an industrial zone.”
He said the greenhouses will not use artificial light, and the buildings’ exhaust will have a filtration system to prevent any odor.
The application did say there will be security personnel at the site, but Perletz said he did not know how many would be there at any given time.
John Holste, a planner for Boulder County Land Use, said the proposal will either be approved or denied late next week. If it is approved, people who live within 1,500 feet of the site will be notified and have a chance to weigh in on the project during a two-week period.
Depending on public input, Holste said, the Boulder County commissioners could choose to call up the application for a public hearing.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitch Byars at 303-473-1329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.