Letters to the Editor

County helped neighbors protect their legal rights

As a landowner in Thurston County, I would like to thank the Resource Stewardship Department and the county’s Health and Public Safety Department for their efforts in protecting my rights and the rights of all of my neighbors.

Recently, an unpermitted and seemingly unregulated cooperative garden/dispensary moved in next door and instantly impacted our rights as neighbors and landowners by hosting special events such as Halloweed and an every Saturday Market featuring 30+ marijuana vendors, 300+ customers, 6 ½ hours of live music, a smoking lounge that at times generated a skunk-like smell on our property, loitering along with excessive traffic.

As neighbors we united, turned to the county and discovered this operation existed without any permits. With the swift and diligent effort of our County Commission, planning department and the prosecuting attorney’s office, our rights were immediately protected. The shutdown and order to cease such commercial activity, although greatly appreciated by us, has more to do with public safety, the character of our rural community and the disregard of obtaining proper permits for such a large and impactful operation.

This issue became solely about safe access. Safe access means providing a safe public approved water supply, safe and adequate septic system, safe Fire Marshal approved buildings, safe food with actual Health Department permits, safe roadways and parking designed to handle the traffic. In order to provide safe access, you can’t just say you offer it, you actually have to.

Tim Fretz