Letter to Editor on San Juan County Greenhouse Regulations by Sandy Strehlou, Committee for Diversified Agriculture
October 3, 2015 by islandersvoice1
Last week the County Council announced that it will not be putting the proposed greenhouse regulations on the Council agenda. While it doesn’t mean the Council has dropped the issue for good, this is still good news. I choose to see it as an indication that the Council listened to islanders’ concerns about over-regulation without proof of substantive problems. For this, I thank the Council.
While the debate around the issue was contentious, I believe it was useful for shedding light on a host of local agricultural issues. For one, more people are now aware that the County has Right to Farm provisions currently on the books (Land Use 18.30.050), and more now recognize that farm diversification, greenhouses and other contemporary farming tools are necessary for extending the growing season and making farms viable in our county.
Isn’t it high-time to reconsider the importance of saving farms and supporting farmers? These issues are critical to many: to our hardworking farmers, but also to consumers, open-space advocates, environmental sustainability, food security, and preserving the rural character of the San Juans. Let’s continue to watch for and support local compliance with Right to Farm laws, and preserve farmland priorities in our community.