GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — A large marijuana grow near an elementary school in Grass Valley has neighbors on edge.

After complaining for weeks, they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands.

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“Having this move in next to our children, it’s frightening. It’s frightening.”

And Alta Sierra Elementary Principal Shar Johns isn’t the only one scared of the pot grow near her school.

“I’m very upset about where it is, not only because of the nature of what’s being done but what people do to protect those areas,” one parent, Lorraine Dewson, told CBS13’s Checkey Beckford.

And neighbors in the residential Alta Sierra development say the owner of the property on Annie Drive is sending a strong message he’ll take action to protect his crop.

“He’s made it clear that he’s armed, that he doesn’t want anyone around,” Johns said.

“At one point there was a sign that said ‘we have guns,'” said a neighbor, Don Bessee.

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Bessee represents a group of about 100 neighbors who have formed a non-profit to get the pot grow out of their neighborhood.

He says people no longer feel safe in their homes.

“It’s a health and safety issue,” he said.

But Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal says it’s not just this neighborhood. There’s been an explosion of marijuana grows and complaints across the county.

“We’ve had increased calls where weapons are being displayed and discharged because people are trying to protect their crop,” Royal said.

But with a staff of only five narcotics officers, the sheriff says they simply can’t keep up. He and county supervisors are working on an ordinance that would regulate pot grows.

“We’ll be able to … reduce what we’ve been seeing.” Royal said.

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The sheriff added that the sign neighbors complained about is perfectly legal.