A group of neighbors who live uphill from the future Desert Hills Middle School in Kennewick are rallying together to try to stop a recreational marijuana farm from opening next door.
The proposed farm — called LLV Green — is off Clodfelter Road near where the Kennewick School District is building the middle school. But it’s far enough away that the new school won’t stop state officials from issuing a license.
The license isn’t issued yet, but LLV Green has an application pending with the state Liquor Control Board. Marijuana businesses are banned in Kennewick, but the property is in Benton County, which allows legal pot farms.
Construction on the farm at 28505 S. Clodfelter Road has stopped for now, after a Benton County code enforcement officer visited the property. The county sent a warning letter to the property owner because of building code violations, stating that corrective action is needed, officials said.
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The violations are still under investigation, officials said.
A company called Peyote Canyon bought the 4.4-acre property in January for $200,000, according to county records.
Neighbors say they found out about the proposed farm after one of them talked to a worker. Until then, they weren’t sure what the property owner had planned.
Linda Bauer, who lives next door, said they noticed workers remodeling the barn on the property and adding a tall fence topped with barbed wire.
Some of the neighbors attended a Benton County commissioners meeting this week. They also are looking into options to try to prevent the farm from opening.
The property is among those under a covenant that is supposed to keep it and three other neighboring lots “high-end residential,” Bauer said. Farming is limited to a low level, such as for 4-H or FFA. Bauer, for example, raises pygmy goats.
She said she and other neighbors feel the covenant clearly does not allow a marijuana grow. Residents say they aren’t against the pot farm opening, just the location that the owner chose.
It’s a quiet, residential area, and such a business should be farther into the county, where it won’t be near homes, they said.
“I just don’t want him to grow it in my front yard,” Bauer said.
The Herald was unable to contact the owners of the two businesses. LLV Green is owned by Lori Van Zeyen and Peyote Canyon is owned by Jerry Vanzuyen, according to records filed with the Secretary of State. Both list a Kennewick UPS store as their mailing address.