Jackson County Code Enforcement Against Greenhouses Runs Afoul of State Law


In my Reefer Madness 2.0 post, I referenced that one aspect of the war on cannabis in Southern Oregon are citations for exorbitant fines levied against landowners alleging that the construction of hoophouses and greenhouses require building permits. Jackson County is running afoul of appellate decisions that the county itself is a party to, such that code enforcement appears to be willfully flouting the law in issuing these citations. Until this year, the construction of temporary hoophouses, and even permanent greenhouses that have no electricity or plumbing have long been recognized by Jackson County, as being a permitted use in zoning that allows farming practices as of right. However, at some point this year, Jackson County code enforcement began taking the position that hoophouses and greenhouses (code enforcement observes no distinction between the two) intended for marijuana or hemp production require land use approval and building permits prior to being constructed. Jackson County is presuming that any hoophouses or greenhouses that are being constructed are for hemp or marijuana grows, even when there are no plants in them yet. In addition, code enforcement is issuing citations not only to landowners, but also to consultants whose sole connection to the greenhouses is helping prospective hemp growers with their ODA applications with no control over what their clients are doing. In general, the Jackson County citations are alleging that the hoophouses and greenhouses were constructed without building permits they allege are required by JCC Chapter 1420, which incorporates Oregon law establishing the state’s structural specialty code. These citations are typically accompanied by separate citation, with a separate case number, alleging a violation of Jackson County’s Land Development Ordinance (LDO) Section 1.8.1 with handwriting stating something to the effect of a failure to obtain “land use approval.” While these two allegations could be made in a single form,…

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Source : Jackson County Code Enforcement Against Greenhouses Runs Afoul of State Law

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