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

Paul McElhany points out how far the new building will extend past the current building at Northwest Fisheries Science Center's Mukilteo Research Station on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in Mukilteo, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Oh, crab! NOAA’s Mukilteo waterfront fish lab won’t be rebuilt

Bids for a new Northwest Fisheries Science Center research station are too high. Are condos next?

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney during an interview at the sheriff’s department June 17, 2020. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Auditor denies Fortney recall group the extra time it seeks

He said he could extend the deadline for signature gathering if ordered by a court or the Governor.

State Patrol worker from Everett charged with attempted child rape

Trevor Smith worked as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned inspecting school buses.

A pre-loaded syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits on the table for the next person in line during a vaccine clinic as South Pointe Assisted Living on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County to receive its largest shipment of vaccines

Even as case counts drop, researchers are finding a growing number of COVID variants in the state.

Austin Johnson, 26 years-old, trains on the Centennial Trail in Lake Stevens and is planning to do a 24-hour run to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
24 hours, 80 miles, $23k raised for mental health

Austin Johnson completes a 24-hour run along the Centennial Trail to raise money for suicide prevention.

Everett man identified after being found dead in creek

The cause of death for Renee Baltazar Romero remained under investigation Thursday.

Everett man found dead in creek near Lake Stevens

The man, 28, was reported missing Thursday. A neighbor found his body in Little Pilchuck Creek.

Autopsy shows Lake Stevens woman, 20, drowned Saturday

Anna M. Lopez was swimming when witnesses noticed she was not responsive, according to officials.

Joe Hempel swims off of the shore of Seawall Park on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 in Langley, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Scantily clad is the dress code for these cold rush swimmers

Immersed for 30 minutes in frigid water would kill most of us. It energizes these swimmers.

Most Read