There will be no odors allowed from medical marijuana growers at all, under new zoning ordinances approved at Tuesday night’s Williston City Commission meeting.
The matter of odors was brought up at a previous commission meeting to consider the first reading of the ordinance establishing zoning regulations for marijuana distributors or compassion centers and marijuana growers.
Kent Jarcik, director of planning and zoning for Williston, discussed changes to the ordinance that came out of the discussion during the ordinance’s first reading.
Jarcik noted that Williston Principal Planner Rachel Laqua spoke first with North Dakota’s Air Quality Division about the matter of odors.
“They wouldn’t get involved until it reaches 7 odor concentration units, which they compared to a severe smell of a hog farm,” Jarcik said.
Laqua then contacted Fort Collins in Colorado, where there are already existing, state-sanctioned marijuana operations.
“They’ve looked at it with zero emissions,” Jarcik said. “That is obtainable using best management practices and most often just requires changing a carbon filter.”
Language was thus added to Williston’s ordinance that will require marijuana growers to have a satisfactory odor control plan as part of their application. The odor control plan will be reviewed by the Building Department to ensure it is satisfactory prior to consideration by the Williston Planning and Zoning Commission.
Additional language was also added governing revocation and termination of special permit uses required for these compassion centers — the state’s name for marijuana distribution and growing centers.
If three separate individuals or households complain about the operation within a 45-day period, code enforcement will investigate to determine whether the complaints are legitimate and then work with the property owner to evaluate