WASHINGTON: The Wagner Lake community just outside of Monroe in Snohomish County offers a tranquil lifestyle featuring mountain views, a lake for swimming, and now…..a pot farm.
Many neighbors had no idea about the new operation until bulldozers and greenhouses started showing up on a ten-acre parcel near them this summer.
“It was a complete shock! We had no idea, no idea,” said Dean Keppler whose family has lived in the area for nearly 40 years. “There were no public notice signs, there were no land action warnings.”
None of the neighbors had heard about public hearings leading up to the Snohomish County Council’s decision on November 13, 2013, to allow marijuana growing and processing operations in what is referred to as R-5 zoning. R-5 zones are rural areas with a minimum of five acre plots, but over the years some plots have been subdivided. That’s allowed for neighborhoods to emerge. Other R-5 zones feature remote, large lots where few people live.
Snohomish County was one of the first to allow growing and processing operations in R-5 zones.