StoryAfter a standing room only, five hour marathon council session which included debate on multiple amendments, the Metropolitan King County Council today removed the Redmond Ridge area from the list of places where marijuana can be grown and processed in King County. The Council also passed regulations defining where marijuana can be grown, processed and sold in the unincorporated areas of the county.
“I am very pleased that the council resolved this zoning issue,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who represents Redmond Ridge on the County Council. “Marijuana processing and growing does not belong in a very dense family-friendly community like Redmond Ridge. It is the most densely populated area known as an Urban Planned Development and is the only one in unincorporated King County.”
Residents of the Redmond Ridge neighborhoods were out in force for last week’s public testimony and today’s meeting. They testified, called and emailed the members of the council to express their concerns. Their strength was both their numbers and their well-thought-out and articulate testimony.
The councilmembers debated the issue in depth and ultimately agreed with the citizens in their belief that the Redmond Ridge area needed to be removed from zoning for marijuana growing and processing. Additional research revealed that all but one parcel with the proposed area in Redmond Ridge was inside a 1000 foot buffer and did not qualify under the state regulations that are part of the voter approved Initiative 502 which legalized recreational use of marijuana.
“I truly believe that the residents of Redmond Ridge made a huge difference in the outcome of this legislation,” Lambert said. “What encourages me the most is that the result is a great civics lesson about the power of community involvement to change an outcome. This was grassroots at its best!”