More marijuana greenhouses are proposed for Missouri Heights
An area known as Pleasant Valley Ranch in Missouri Heights is becoming a hub for the marijuana industry in the Roaring Fork Valley.
The Eagle County Commissioners approved an application by the Alexander Co. in July for four greenhouses totaling 6,912 square feet for marijuana cultivation at Pleasant Valley Ranch.
The commissioners will consider on Tuesday a separate application from different parties for two pot greenhouses on adjoining property at Pleasant Valley Ranch.
A company called RFSC LLC has applied to build two 4,000-square-foot greenhouses and 6,000 square feet of additional structures for storage, propagation, drying and packaging of cannabis. The partners in the firm are Robert Holmes, of Aspen, and Pete Tramm, of Basalt.
Tramm said it is a coincidence that the marijuana cultivation operations were proposed on neighboring properties. The Alexanders bought their property from Holmes some time ago.
The secluded, rural subdivision is located about 8 miles north of El Jebel with access off Upper Cattle Creek Road.
The Alexanders currently have the only approval for a cannabis-growing operation in rural Eagle County, according to a memo to the county commissioners from the planning staff.
The application by RFSC states that their proposed use is compatible with Pleasant Valley Ranch’s history.
“We have chosen this site because we view our work as an agricultural operation in nature that is no different than the historical haying, cattle ranching and agricultural operations that are deeply rooted and honored in this area,” the application said.
Once the greenhouses are fully operational, they will have 1,100 plants, the application said, including 600 flowering plants and 500 in a vegetative stage. The plants will require about 1,400 gallons of water per day, the application said. They will be watered by hand to promote efficiency. The efficient use of water won’t produce wastewater from the greenhouses, according to the application.
The growing operation is anticipated to employ an estimated four workers.
“This is not a high-traffic business as we are watching plants grow,” the application said. “We believe annual volume yield could be transported in a single delivery vehicle. Hence it is a low impact traffic consideration.”
Growing marijuana in rural areas requires a special-use permit from Eagle County. The Roaring Fork Regional Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval to the greenhouses proposed by RFSC. The planning staff is recommending approval with conditions.
Holmes owns 44 acres in Pleasant Valley Ranch. The footprint for the pot operation will cover 1.3 acres, according to the application.
No retail sales were proposed on the site, and they aren’t permitted. Tramm said the greenhouses would be used to supply RFSC’s retail marijuana operations. The company has one shop in Eagle-Vail that has operated for about six weeks. It has approvals for a retail pot store in Basalt that is expected to open in early November. Tramm said he and his partner also are exploring the possibility of opening stores in Aspen and Vail.
The Eagle County Commissioners are scheduled to visit the site of the proposed greenhouses Tuesday, then hold a hearing at the Eagle County office and community center in El Jebel. The hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.