County Council seeks more public input on recreational pot rules

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Council on Wednesday decided to collect more public input as it considers making permanent rules for marijuana businesses.

In discussing the issue, council members are hoping people will limit their comments to certain proposed amendments to the regulations for state-licensed recreational marijuana enterprises in some rural areas. A public hearing scheduled for 10:30 a.m. April 15 in the Council Chambers.

The county lawmakers are considering requiring various types of permits for marijuana growers and processors, based on the state’s three-tiered system for different sizes of operations.

One permitting scheme under consideration would require a public hearing process and approval by the county hearing examiner.

Another would leave permitting of marijuana businesses up to the county planning department.

The other options are to prohibit all marijuana operations — or allow them without requiring special permits.

The council also is taking public input on several standards it could impose on marijuana businesses, such as rules related to noise, odor and traffic. It is also considering allowing the county planning department or the hearing examiner to require some or all of the standards on a case-by-case basis.

The council on March 4 extended for six months a moratorium on new marijuana businesses in certain rural areas after hearing hours of testimony from people in the newly legal industry and concerned neighbors. The council plans to enact permanent rules before that moratorium expires.

More information on the proposals can be found at bit.ly/19QTyou.

Voters in 2012 approved Initiative 502, which created the state’s legal recreational marijuana industry. In 2013, the council enacted county policies for pot businesses.

But after people voiced concerns, the council in October enacted two emergency ordinances, one addressing recreational marijuana businesses and the other related to medical-marijuana dispensaries and gardens.

Council members wanted more time to consider issues raised by people in the unincorporated Clearview area and in so-called R-5 zones — rural areas where the county typically allows only one house per five acres.

Residents’ worries prompted the council to pass an emergency ordinance that banned growers, processors and retailers in the R-5 zone that weren’t already in business as of Oct. 1. It also enacted another measure that prohibited new medical marijuana businesses along a one-mile stretch of Highway 9 in Clearview.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @AmyNileReports.

Talk to us

More in Local News

PUD Generation Senior Manager Brad Spangler points out a megawatt meter for one of two generators that provide power to the City of Everett at the Henry M. Jackson Hydroelectric Project on Friday, July 23, 2021 in Sultan, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How the PUD kept things humming during the record heat wave

The public utility has been bracing for the impacts of climate change for more than a decade.

Snohomish County PUD's innovative solar battery powered microgrid batteries sit in their enclosed units during a visit by Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in Arlington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
PUD’s experimental solar power microgrid is ready to go live

The site in Arlington will be a test lab of ideas, as the PUD figures out the future of electricity.

c
AP College Board honors two Kamiak teachers

Kamiak High School Career and Technical Education teachers Sean Moore and Nate… Continue reading

Kids' Oasis, a wooden castle playground adjacent to Mount Pilchuck Elementary School, is demolished on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Nothing lasts forever — Lake Stevens’ castle playground leveled

When it was built in 1992, Kids’ Oasis at Mount Pilchuck Elementary was unlike anything else.

Officials urge vaccinations as Delta variant takes root

Dr. Chris Spitters recommends everyone, even the vaccinated, mask up in public indoor spaces.

Mountlake Terrace man dies in motorcycle crash in Snohomish

Authorities did not believe other cars were involved in the crash. The man was in his 60s.

Snohomish, other Washington counties recommend masks indoors

A surge in COVID-19 cases triggered the statement by health officials throughout the state.

L-R: Steve Dana, Karen Guzak, Tabitha Baty.
Big difference in contests for two Snohomish council seats

Incumbent Dana faces ex-council colleague Guzak and activist Baty as 3 first-timers vie for other seat

L-R: John Kartak, Linda Redmon, Sam King.
Council president and Army veteran look to unseat Kartak

Incumbent Mayor John Kartak and his challengers have different goals for the city.

Most Read