Redmond City Council MeetingPost #2 Continuation of Redmond City Council Meeting, Dated May 17th, 2016

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<With apologies for any names I spelled incorrectly>

Redmond City Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
7:30 PM Council Chambers

Agenda available here:  https://redmond.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=252&doctype=agenda

If you ‘click’ on each underlined item, you will see available documentation for each to the right of the screen.

Post #2       Continuation of Redmond City Council Meeting, Dated May 17th, 2016

Post 1 of 3 is here 

Public Hearing #3 –

At 1:322:22, Public Hearing began for AM 16-119 Retail Marijuana Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code Amendments (Available in documents section at right)

“The Council directed staff on April 19, 2016, to schedule a public hearing for May 17, 2016, to solicit feedback on potentially allowing retail marijuana stores in the Business Park (BP) zone in locations which face and are visible from public streets. This is based on concerns that while the original public hearing notice noted possibly allowing retail marijuana stores in the BP zone, the proposal at that time did not contemplate retail marijuana stores in the BP zone and the Planning Commission did not discuss this.”

Staff Report by Jason Rogers.

Question by Council as to which schools are recognized by the buffer?  Answer:  OSPI recognized schools will be subject to the buffer.  Other educational organizations or activities that have children present will not be included in the buffer zone.

Other direction requested regarding street-facing BP zone provision

“Freezing” state definitions.

From the presentation, the Council has recommended and approved:

  • Allow Retail Marijuana stores in Downtown & Overlake Village zones, in GC and RR.
  • Allow retail marijuana stores in visible street facing locations in the BP Zone.
  • 1,000 ft. buffers from playgrounds and schools
  • 100 ft. buffers from state-defined sensitive uses (daycares, recreation centers, etc.)
  • No separation requirement between stores
  • No limit on # of stores (state limit is 4)
  • Review in 2-3 years, or if significant change in state law, or if/when new data is available.

Public hearing is on zoning area (rest of items not up for discussion).

Available map shows 65 properties available with buffers in BP zone.

20 have a building which is visible from and faces a public street.

Map available here:

Definitions –

  • Current Ordinance (2744) freezes state definitions as of date of adoption, June 17, 2014.
  • Allows for City Council review of any changes to state definitions before in effect here
  • Alternative is to not “freeze” and then definitions would change when state revises.
  • State definitions have changed, including the definition of park (now excludes trails)

Ms. Allen asked for the presentation to be left on a specific slide during the public hearing.

Mr. Myers asked about map of available properties and how many would actually rent to retail marijuana? (some corporations may not allow due to banking regulations)

Public speaking portion of hearing begins at 1:40:40. 

Jenny Carbon (The Grass is Always Greener owner)

  • Received a call in response to the protestors outside City Hall from King5 News
  • Cannabis Retail stores are becoming a common occurrence
  • Looking forward to the day when Redmond will embrace the new industry.
  • Some locations are unwilling or unable to lease or sell due to federal banking regulations.
  • Other locations are not viable because of location, lighting, parking availability.
  • Little difference between MP and BP locations; retail facilities like liquor, vape, deli are in MP locations.

Shawna Mindt (The Grass is Always Greener co-founder and Redmond resident)

  • Voice support for zoning for Cannabis retail In Redmond.
  • BP and MP properties are nearly indistinguishable.
  • Goal is to allow for retail cannabis in Redmond.
  • Open up as much space as possible for retail. (1:47:44)

Molly Honig (Higher Leaf, Kirkland Cannabis retailer and Redmond resident)

Speaking in support of recreational marijuana retail.

Chio Xhong

  • A bit satirical but compared marijuana to sex and use in public.
  • Recruiting young users to become lifelong users.

Jennifer Aries (Dynamic Harvest)

  • Grower in Kirkland.
  • Find a solution for licensees to work with Redmond.
  • Partnership with municipalities.

George Cai 

  • Originally from China. Grateful for opportunity to speak out without repercussions.
  • Moved to Redmond 9 years ago; spent months looking in King County for housing.
  • Chose Redmond because of kindness of people; kind to environment, parks, cyclists, business, opinions.
  • Understands ‘Pot’ is legal, medically available as well as a pleasure.
  • As father of 2 young children, opposing zoning amendment. For kids, seeing is believing.
  • Account of having to explain ‘massage’ stores in China to children; shouldn’t have to explain cannabis stores to children.
  • Owe to next generation the right balance of protection.
  • Anecdote of his fishing buddy, addiction to smoking and alcohol; started by traveling to Canada to get alcohol.
  • Correct zoning and control is important to protect children.

Question re: playgrounds and schools, is Emerald City Gymnastics considered a school?

Guong Ho Lee

  • Not against legal marijuana; supported the passage of I-502.
  • Opposing pot stores because they are not what Redmond residents want and do not provide enough protection for children.
  • Based on online survey conducted 7 months ago (November 2015?) – 1600 responders, 76% wanted no stores in Redmond. Greater than 80% wanted buffer size of at least 1000 feet.
  • Cited her background PhD in Economics from Western Washington in 2004. Dissertation was on analyzing scientific survey data.
  • Survey was unscientific – but results of I-502 were unscientific as well. Who and how voted were not truly represented.
  • Federal Way residents voted “Yes” to I-502, but “No” to pot stores in their town.
  • Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle have larger than 100 ft. buffers.
  • Distance from City Hall to Library is about 500 feet; 5 times further than the proposed buffer of 100 ft.
    Not Redmond’s responsibility to provide pot for citizens, but to provide adequate protection.

Del Berg

  • Redmond resident for 10 years.
  • Draw your attention to testimony on February 16th; raised 8 points of concern.
  • City has not addressed any of these points; remain unanswered.
  • Reviewed comments by others to the City.
  • Study by Professor Henry and Dr. Oldfield, published in British Medical Journal regarding health concerns.
  • Paramount duty of city government is to keep its citizens healthy and safe.
  • AAA study of THC involved accidents increased over 100% in one year.
  • Hopes the Council will respect the wishes of parents who want the best for their kids.

Marcus Cameron

  • Has worked in retail cannabis in California and Washington.
  • Works for compliance in successful locations.
  • In support of “The Grass is Always Greener”.
  • Regulated, legal options will help keep cannabis away from schools.
  • Benefits from excise tax as shown by Bellevue and Kirkland.
  • $290,575 excise tax from Kirkland for one month.
  • Redmond citizens are going to the Kirkland location; revenues could be used towards homelessness and other issues in Redmond.
  • Washington State Cannabis Board regulations as to age, ID, etc.
  • July 2016 medicinal shops will be closed and will have to merge with retail.
  • Work with retailers.

Lee Yang

  • Resident of Redmond.
  • If zoning doesn’t fit, then don’t change it to fit.
  • People can buy from other cities.
  • How much of revenue that would be made would be spent on policing (and safety).

Wei Lee  

  • Business owner in Redmond and father of 3 (one at RMS and 2 at Rockwell).
  • If stores go into Redmond Town Center he will move his business out of Redmond.

Nia La Chiu  

  • Redmond resident.
  • 100 feet is too close; NBA court is 100 feet.
  • Does not provide protection from kids; curiosity and safety.
  • Consumers of cannabis would come in contact with kids.
  • Industry cares about money; City’s job is to care about citizens.
  • Advertising ruling (board on 124th street)
  • Products like gummy bears; cannot tell from regular kids gummy bears.

Weng Chen 

  • Redmond resident.
  • Long term costs to city – More police activity, patrols; light rail brings more people; safety of community.
  • Presence of stores is tempting to teenagers. Easy enough to have others purchase for teens.
  • Will consider moving out if pot stores move to Redmond.

Jen Fang Cah 

  • Redmond resident.
    Safety issues.
  • AAA conducted a survey in 2015 re: driving under influence of alcohol and marijuana. 6,612 respondents; nearly all responded that it is not acceptable to drive under influence of alcohol or marijuana.
  • Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) reported that fatal crashes increased from 8% to 17%; drivers with THC levels found in their blood.

Mei Ki Lee  

  • Lived in Redmond Ridge for 6 years; Redmond for 10.
  • Represents 384 Redmond Ridge Community residents. Representing highly-educated, devoted to community residents.
  • (Difficult to understand, too close to the microphone)
  • Interested in revenue or statistics?
  • Marijuana is addictive; 4% more addictive in teens than in adults.
  • Begin using as a teen more likely to use every day.
  • Marijuana can damage the brain, permanently.
  • More than 10 million deaths due to marijuana use.
  • Impacts environments.
  • Increases hostility.

Heidi Arseneau

  • Bellevue resident (border of Redmond). Lives and works in and around Redmond.
  • Great that people come from other countries to live in Redmond.
  • Embrace the regulation of marijuana.
  • Regulate so it can be moderated.

Angela Wei 

Aren’t kids more important than salmon?  (speaking about stream buffer to protect salmon).

Nick Gilla

  • Works in cannabis industry; originally from Atlanta.
  • Security checks.

Michael Tofe

  • Works in cannabis industry.
  • Regulating will end black market sales.
  • If you have a store in Redmond, they won’t have to drive after smoking to come back home.

Lungin Martell

  • Lives near Marymoor park area.
  • Regulation – should we regulate prostitution as well?
  • Is more about welcoming vs. regulation.
  • Process – surveys by Planning Commission; responses by citizens were not accurate and were ignored by process.
  • Pioneer stores is a good opportunity.
  • Track IP addresses of survey takers?
  • Citizens have given trust to leaders; consider all the pros and cons. Use heart as well as mind.

Public Hearing closed at 2:43:12.

Answer of question regarding Emerald City Gymnastics; playground needs to be “public” playground, Emerald City Gymnastics does not qualify as public playground or school.  Private Businesses do not qualify.

Council Discussion:

Hank Myers:  Regulation good to help reduce use in neighborhoods.  Reduce the market for illicit drug dealers.  AT the same time it creates additional revenue to allow police to enforce regulations against hard drug dealers.  Planning Commission listened to citizens.  Open up to MP zones to increase availability of locales.  BP has “zero” availability.

Kim Allen:  We already have drugs here; regulation and legalization will dry up black market.  MP zones already have “scope creep”; where do we draw the line?  # of licenses is delimiter.  Open to considering MP zones for retail.

David Carson:   Supportive of MP zones for this use.

John Stilin: MP ‘creep’ (Root beer store), Vape Store in Business Park; not into making exceptions.  Tasting rooms are different; no tasting rooms for marijuana even though production is allowed. Not fan of putting in MP zones; mostly due to traffic.  No problem in general commercial, retail zones.  Delete BP zones.  Parents worried about kids need to become a ‘good parent’; opportunity to have teaching moments.  Less than 100 years ago we had prohibition. Treat it like regularly licensed product.

Brian Shutz Open to Retail areas; remove from BP.

Angela Birney Remove from BP; stay in general commercial retail zoning.

Hank Margeson Legal in the state to manufacture and sell marijuana.  Regulated and responsible manner.  MP should be for manufacturing; regardless of creep.  Marijuana should be in general retail.  Remaining question is whether or not to “freeze” to follow state legislation.

Freeze legislation, remove BP zoning restriction from ordinance.

Mr. Stilin:  Need to retain good community dialogue.  Retail owners encouraged to be good neighbors.

Mr. Myers: Respect vote of residents. Protect our neighborhoods. Be legally defensible. Commercially available space are buffered out for one reason or another.

Mr. Carson:  Liquor store is a distribution store.

Ordinance:   Remove BP zoning, follow remainder of recommendation.  No study session.

Staff Reports resume at 3:05:36

AM No. 16-121: Notification of Additional Costs to Close out the First Phase of the Water/Wastewater Telemetry System Upgrade Project – Scott Thomasson

AM No. 16-122: Approval of Metro Draft Long-Range Plan Comment Letter

Ombuds report for May – Ms. Birney:  Most of emails received regarding retail marijuana.  One regarding code enforcement on a sign on Avondale and 104th.

Mr. Margeson:  Outreach from neighborhood auto repair shop on 116th and Avondale.  Referred to Rob Odle who talked to Code Enforcement.

Meeting adjourned.

 

 

Resources:

Redmond City Ordinance 2755 http://www.redmond.gov/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=129776
Redmond Reporter May 2, 2014
http://www.redmond-reporter.com/news/257719691.html#
The Grass is Always Greener (no website found: 7867 Leary Way N.E. Redmond)
Jenny Carbon (Owner) LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenny-carbon-418a6899
Kirkland Reporter February 4, 2015 http://www.kirklandreporter.com/news/290805761.html#
Dynamic Harvest http://www.dynamicharvest.net/
 

 

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