DSC_0080 copy In the news: Pot grower likely to gain permit to keep growing pot: Lack of penalty leads to questions about fairness

The issue here is not marijuana- it’s Island County trying to get their story straight.

“The facility’s owners, Christina and Scott Hensrude, of Woodinville, filed for a land-use permit in 2014, but just had their requisite site plan review hearing on April 15.”

If the owners filed for a permit in 2014- why did the site plan review wait until April 15, 2016?

A previous article: Pot grower asks for after-the-fact approval

“West yesterday continued to insist the county has no knowledge of the unlawful use. On Tuesday, he said didn’t know the buildings were already being used for marijuana.”

Nothing to act on if no complaint has been filed:

“Actually, I don’t have knowledge. There’s been no complaint filed.” Just having been told about the violation, even by credible sources, doesn’t equate to “knowledge,” he said. “People mention things to me all the time. That doesn’t mean I have evidence.”

But the owners filed for a permit in 2014?

How could the county not know about a pending marijuana operation if the owners filed with the county in 2014?

 

Mixed messages in local government:

The health dept. conducts regular inspections of businesses that sell food & beverages without waiting for complaints to roll in. Fire inspectors do inspections without waiting for complaints. State & local law enforcement agencies do DUI patrols without waiting for complaints.

Back in May of 2014-

The public knew of the new marijuana business: Impending recreational pot business in Island County off to a hazy start

The county also knew- even without any complaints?

“But the approval doesn’t seem forthcoming. David Wechner, the Island County planning director, said the property appears to be zoned “Oak Harbor industrial.” The recently approved county regulations governing recreational marijuana don’t allow retail pot shops in that zoning.”

From comments:

“I did file a complaint on November 18 2014 . David Wechner Planning Director for Island County at the time , said to me that any complaints would need to be filed before November 18 2014 which I did . David said there would be a Public Meeting where the public could voice there concerns which never happened . North Whidbey Business Park has several land owners that would have been at that meeting with concerns . Morning of December 8 2014 I emailed David Wechner asking when a public meeting was to take place no response from David . Jason Johnson from Island County Planning called me at 4:00 PM the same day telling me that Christina &Scott Hensrude property owners we’re given a building permit to put up an 8 foot high security fence with razor wire at the top . Building permit allowed them to block the north entrance to the North Whidbey Business Park , which is a recorded easement and David was aware of that . David emailed me stating that Island County does not get involved with private agreements unless we are asked to approve a permit in violation of one ?? That same day I emailed David and got no response next day or ever . Back in September 16 2014 emailed David Wechner reported that Hensrudes were growing marijuana in a business that left Sports Bar and Grill that has been there for years . David went personally to the marijuana growing and verify to me that he saw them growing medical marijuana , his response was The county does not regulate medical marijuana . October 9 2014 David emailed me stating that he would have a building official and a member of the law-enforcement will be doing and inspection on the north end of the business park next week , I never was called or contacted .
As I see it the County has made the decision back in June of 2014 and there a big difference in growing and processing marijuana versus a retail store ,makes a big difference in our business park and the surrounding neighborhood keep in mind this is right at the main gate to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. We’ve had customers on Goldie Road driving by in their cars and smell the odor .
I’ve been in business in Oak Harbor for 42 years last 28 years have been at North Whidbey Business Park Not A Way I Planned on Going Out !!
Thank You Island County For your Support!!
MikeHaun
Owner of Precision Tire Factory & Auto Center”

More here: Whidbey Update

 

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Photo- Keystone ferry inbound

“Keystone terminal gives way to ‘Coupeville’ ferry” Coupeville/Penn Cove is on the eastern shore of Whidbey Island- no ferry link to Port Townsend exists there.