Letter to the Editor: City should talk to Hwy 99’s neighbors before dumping marijuana shops there

Dear Editor:

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.

Jim Underhill

  1. Here, here, Mr. Underhill………..like this part of Edmonds (99) doesn’t have almost ALL of the crime already……for the other Edmonds, must be out of sight, out of mind……

    This area just gets worse and worse……..Ask any local druggie where they go?! Actually, just go take a look there……This area with less expensive housing is a shame for the families with children that live there and try to ignore the crime all around them.

    Put one of those shops in the bowl, and let’s just see how these residents of Edmonds like that…….Kind of a no brainer.

    If Edmonds is planning on dumping the shops on 99, then perhaps it is a good idea not to have the shops in any part of Edmonds

  2. Jim,
    There actually is a couple of other areas other than Highway 99 that could house these businesses outside of the buffer zones.
    Citizens who live/work around the Highway 99 area should attend the public hearing and/or email your councilmembers with your views.

  3. A tip of the ol’ hat to the police department and other city staff. Today word circulated about a rogue ‘medicinal cannabis shop’ on the 99 that must have opened yesterday or today. Real sketchy joint near businesses and a large apartment complex. By the time I contacted the Mayor’s office, they were already on this and I’m sure the signs will come down and the business closed. Thanks much.

  4. Please consider that the casinos are already there and plenty of access to alcohol and tobacco.

    Some of our schools are rather close also: Chase Lake, College Place and Edmonds/Woodway High.

    Our children need the highest protection from drugs and alcohol.

  5. All of you that are speaking out now about not wanting these things in your neighborhoods, where were you when the issue was being discussed? Apparently you didn’t think it was so bad, but gee, now that it might actually be in your neighborhood, it is bad? Really? If you thought it was bad before, I hope you voted against legalizing it, but I bet you didn’t. Well, now you have to live with the consequences.

    Until this thing gets really sorted out, you’ll probably have to deal with more crime and certainly more drug affected drivers. Seattle had that event where they gave a permit to have people use marijuana like it was a beer garden or wine tasting. Don’t think that it won’t happen in Edmonds. The Taste of Edmonds is really going to be fun when one of those organizers finds they can bring it there. I can only think of Pandora’s Box.

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