Cognitive dissonance in Silt

January 7, 2015

marijuana, oil and gas drilling, Silt

A group of residents in Silt object to a plan for a “20,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation and manufacturing plant and four 3,000-square-foot greenhouses” to be built on vacant land between Eagle’s View and Stoney Ridge subdivisions. The plant might look something like this.

A marijuana manufacturing plant near Denver.

This Three Siblings well pad site is located less than a half mile from the borders of both subdivisions.

Three siblings well pad

Three Siblings well pad. That’s the Stoney Ridge subdivision in the background.

There’s no telling what will motivate some people to activism.  With the legalization of marijuana, the proliferation of pot shops plus manufacturing and grow operations has given Coloradans something to bitch about. Silt is no different. Last October, a group of residents were up in arms about a pot shop located on Main Street between two liquor stores and a bar. Now these folks are mad as hell.

Silt neighbors irked by planned pot grow site

SILT — Carla DeYoung likes to sit on the back patio of her home in the Eagle’s View subdivision with her teen daughter and talk about stars and constellations.

She says she won’t be able to do that anymore if a proposed two-story, 20,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation and manufacturing plant and four 3,000-square-foot greenhouses are allowed to be built in the agriculturally zoned property behind the home she shares with her husband, Don.

“I live at the north end of the subdivision — I’m at ground zero,” Carla DeYoung said. “I’m directly across from it.”

The commercial grow operation would occupy 7.55 acres of what is zoned as “rural/agricultural” land that sits between the Eagle’s View and Stoney Ridge subdivisions.

“This doesn’t fit my description of ag use,” DeYoung said. “Silt has commercial/industrial zoned property along I-70. It doesn’t belong between two subdivisions.”

That is the complaint of all the residents who oppose the project …

The obvious question is: Would they prefer a well pad?

Apparently these folks are unaware that they live less than a half mile from two active well pad sites, Pretti and Three Siblings. Very soon Ursa’s well flares will light up and stink up their neighborhood.

… The residents are also upset about the notification process from the town of Silt. According to [Silt resident Meriya] Stickler, the town was supposed to send out letters to all homeowners that would be affected by the operation. Stickler said she never got one. And even those who did, didn’t pay attention because notices about the project and a public hearing were sent out just before Christmas.

“Nobody was paying attention then,” Stickler said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the project Dec. 2 and a legal announcement ran on Dec. 18 …

Oh, now I get it. They weren’t paying attention. Not surprising. Apparently there’s an awful lot that has escaped these folks’ attention.

… Residents’ concerns include light pollution, odor, noise, traffic and decreased air quality …

What do they mean by “decreased air quality”? Like, worse than this?

January 6, 2015

The air in Silt on Wednesday morning, January 7, 2015

Remember these folks are talking about the possibility of light pollution, odor, noise, traffic and decreased air quality. Not the actual light pollution, odor, noise, traffic and decreased air quality we cope with every single day from Ursa’s two gi-normous well pad industrial sites south of the river. This site lights up the night sky and vents toxic emissions 24/7.

Ursa well pad site across the Colorado River from Silt

Ursa well pad site across the Colorado River from Silt belching toxins –Wednesday morning, January 7, 2015.

Is the light pollution, odor, noise, traffic and air pollution caused by Ursa’s drilling activity okay with them? Or haven’t they noticed?

This is Silt. We live in a brown cloud. We breathe toxic air. We can’t drink the water. How will a pot grow operation make things worse?

Oh, that’s right. Stickler said, “I’m not going to have my children watching TV and looking at a pot manufacturing plant.”

They could always lie and tell the kids it’s a gas well.

But seriously. I don’t get it.

It is true that from almost all the homes in Stoney Ridge and Eagle’s View subdivisions the Ursa sites aren’t in the residents’ vantage point. They can’t see the Pretti and Three Siblings pads either. So out of sight — out of mind.

But — do they live in a bubble? Maybe they don’t get out much.

Okay, so never mind the Pretti and Three Siblings pads. For the sake of my own sanity, I’ll give these folks the benefit of the doubt. This is a NIMBY thing. If a well pad site was proposed for that vacant land they would probably be just as fired up. Right?

Still I wonder what it would take to get these folks to step outside their bubbles and take a deep breath. Smell the odors. Notice the brown cloud by day and the light pollution by night. Pay attention to the noise and the traffic. All of which is caused by oil & gas drilling.

No matter what, the January 12th SiltBOTs meeting will definitely be must-see reality TV.

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3 Comments on “Cognitive dissonance in Silt”

  1. maryinline Says:

    You’re the best, Peggy! We all live in our own little fish bowls, and it’s imperative that those outside our bowl clue us into what we are blind to. And, the beat goes on!

  2. Fiona Lloyd Says:

    Economic diversification is a GOOD thing. All our eggs in the Industry’s basket is a BAD thing. At least you can make the pot house development attractive – in fact, I’m a Landscape Architect and I will offer my services free!

  3. Barb Coddington Says:

    Funny Peggy. I had those same thoughts.

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