MARROWSTONE — The Jefferson County hearing examiner has denied an application for a recreational marijuana business that proposed a 10,000-square-foot growing and processing facility on Marrowstone Island, a plan that received significant criticism from island residents.
Hearing Examiner Stephen Casseaux Jr. signed the order Oct. 31 after a hearing June 27 where Casseaux heard testimony from the applicant, Olympus Gardens owner Austin Smith; members of the Jefferson County Department of Community Development, which was in favor of the proposal; and a number of community members who were mostly against the project proposal.
Smith had applied for a cottage industry permit and a conditional use permit to grow and process recreational marijuana on his property at 9272 Flagler Road near the north end of Marrowstone Island.
According to Casseaux’s decision, the permits were denied because the business proposal did not meet all the criteria set for conditional use and cottage industry permits.
Casseaux denied the permits with prejudice, meaning Smith cannot apply or resubmit applications for these permits for a year.
Casseaux also recommended steps Smith could take to be in accordance with criteria for the permits he applied to — specifically regarding the cottage industry permit.
“The applicant needs to provide evidence of a bona fide residence to staff in accordance with the finding above prior to re-submittal,” said Casseaux in his Oct. 31 decision.
According to Jefferson County code, a cottage industry is “a commercial or manufacturing activity conducted in whole or in part in either the resident’s single-family dwelling unit or in an accessory building.” Cottage industry is also limited to small-scale commercial or industrial activity.
According to Casseaux’s decision, Smith didn’t provide adequate evidence that he lived on the property. According to Smith’s written testimony, which was cited in Casseaux’s decision, his family would continue to live in Seattle while Smith would work on the property during the week but return to Seattle on the weekends.
Casseaux also said in his decision that Smith did not show enough evidence that noise and smells from the production and processing would fall into accordance with the conditional use permit criteria.
Noise, fumes and runoff were some of the major concerns submitted by Marrowstone residents during the June 27 public hearing.
Smith was not available for comment Thursday, but Casseaux’s full decision and testimony from all parties that attended the June 27 hearing are available on the county’s website at www.co.jefferson.wa.us.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].