The City Council and Planning Board are working to implement the new state initiative regarding cannabis business activities, and most importantly, location of the two shops that could open in Edmonds. Minutes from the Planning Board October 9 meeting give important information for the public. But they also point to several concerns that are left open-ended.
The Board settled on locating such businesses along Highway 99. No surprise as this part of Edmonds is always seen as the place to dump such issues. What I don’t see in the minutes is rationale for why other neighborhoods would not be eligible. I hope the Board and Council chose not to consider other neighborhoods just to avoid the blow-back that would occur. By this letter, I’m pushing back on this troubling decision, that is, to dump a tough issue on the Highway 99 community and call it done.
I also don’t see any impact analysis of the recommended 1,000-foot buffer between such a business and adjoining neighborhoods. Before any final decision is made, this analysis must be conducted, and residents and businesses that then could be impacted, must be notified and allowed to respond. The worst part of this process is to not inform the affected neighborhood(s) beforehand; to allow their voice and concerns to be heard and considered. Now that you apparently have decided where to place these businesses, it’s time to talk with us.
And before one decides this isn’t a “big deal” then please consider some facts. The City already has problems with residents in most of the motels along the Highway. This includes incidents in the motels, in nearby businesses. Most of these folks have ongoing drug and alcohol issues fueling their abuse, shoplifting and the like. This costs local businesses money to control, takes time and resources of the city police to manage. Dumping this problem onto our part of Edmonds cannot be taken lightly, or without due process, further analysis and comments from the affected businesses and citizens of our city. I see none of this in the minutes to date.
The board and council do have time to do what’s necessary, and it’s a courtesy to us to discuss this issue before a final decision is made.