Oct 4, 2012 8:54 PM by Siera Santos, ssantos@koaa.com

Stinky neighbor affects nearby businesses

A marijuana grow facility is causing quite the stink.

Neighboring shops near the grow operation on East Cheyenne Road say the odor is affecting their business.

Lauren Stewart owns RE-Generation Boutique, a consignment clothing shop geared toward teenage girls. Stewart decorated the walls with positive messages because she wanted her shop to be a place where young women could feel comfortable in their own bodies. One Friday night each month, she throws a shopping party where girls can be dropped off by their parents and enjoy pizza and make-up lessons.

"It's just a very safe environment for them to hang out, have their girls night, and it just doesn't feel right when it smells like pot. It's just counterproductive to what I'm trying to accomplish here."

Lauren also hosts birthday parties and says she had a $350 party booked, but when the girl's mother came to drop off the deposit, she caught a whiff of the offensive odor and cancelled.

"I'm giving this everything that I have and the face that the building next to me is damaging my hopes (and) my dreams for my business is really upsetting to me."

The grow operation is legal and she's addressed the issue with her landlord, Danny Mientka, when the smell became unbearable over the summer.

"And he said, 'Well, Lauren if you find the odor that offensive, maybe you should look for another location.'"

Stewart found one, but she says now Mientka won't let her out of her lease because he's installed a new airconditioning system to remedy the problem.

"While I appreciate those efforts on his part, the odor is just as bad and just as strong."

In her lease, there's a specific clause stating that "objectionable noise or odor" isn't permitted. She doesn't understand why he doesn't hold the neighboring tenant to the same standard.

An employee from the plant nursery described the smell as embarassing. She said an older customer often mistakes the smell for a skunk.

"I wish it were a dead skunk," she said, "at least then I could bury it."

News 5 called Mientka multiple times and contacted the leasing company, Equity Group. No one returned the request for comment or interview.


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