SJI Grange adopts greenhouse resolution | Letter

The San Juan Island Grange #966 has adopted a resolution concerning San Juan County’s proposed greenhouse regulations. Our mission, in addition to fostering social and political engagement, is “to support a resilient community of growers, makers, and keepers.”

The Grange recognizes the importance of agriculture and food security in the sustainability of our island community. Many of our members are growers and use greenhouses for both home-use and for farm operations.

Greenhouses are essential infrastructure in order to extend the growing season, and for farmers to increase their income.

The Grange has determined that the July 21 proposed county code amendments and new sections would place an undue burden on both home and commercial growers who depend upon the use of greenhouses. Furthermore, the proposed code amendments and new sections are in conflict with county code 18.30.052 Right to farm and forestry provisions, and are also contrary to the Economic Development Element’s goals and actions in support of agriculture, as adopted unanimously by the current council.

We appreciate that some neighbors of greenhouses have experienced impacts related to artificial light emissions, the size and/or scale of the structure, noise, and odors. We recognize that these same impacts have also been experienced by neighbors with regard to other types of structures and associated activities.

The Grange asks that if these issues are addressed that they be addressed by amending the existing sections of the code for all structures.

This community has deep roots in a rural, agrarian economy, and if we want to stay connected to our heritage, we need to welcome the active agricultural use of our neighbors’ properties.

The Grange applauds efforts to increase our ability to grow our own food.

This resolution can be found at: sjigrange.wordpress.com/resolutions/sji-grange-966-resolution-concerning-proposed-greenhouse-regulations-in-san-juan-county/.

The SJI Grange #966 Executive Committee