Zoning proposal could restrict Seattle marijuana sales in tourist areas, historical districts

Crushed: Your dream of a Harvard-Belmont marijuana cafe

Crushed: Your dream of a Harvard-Belmont marijuana cafe

Some city councilmembers want to shield the city’s tourist areas, historical districts and family zones from the effects of legalized marijuana.

Councilmembers Nick Licata and Sally Clark are proposing an amendment to the city’s Land Use Code, to restrict production, processing, selling and delivery of marijuana in Capitol Hill’s Harvard-Belmont area, the downtown core, and other historical districts and family zones throughout the city.

The changes could further restrict the already tight squeeze predicted for marijuana retailing locations — like 23rd and Union — that might not run afoul of federal guidelines.

The proposals come in response to recently enacted I-502 and the necessity to develop a process for regulating marijuana and marijuana products, according to the city.

The proposal would not alter federal or State criminal law related to marijuana, and it would not place any City employee in the position of permitting or sanctioning any marijuana-related activity.

 

Rather, it would be an exercise of the City’s authority to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by preventing incompatible uses—in this instance, larger-scale marijuana-related activity and businesses and residences in areas where such activity could cause inappropriate off-site impacts.

The amendments would establish restrictions in:

1. Any Single-family zone

2. Any Multifamily zone

3. Any Neighborhood Commercial 1 (NC1) zone

4. Any of the following Downtown zones:

a. Pioneer Square Mixed

b. International District Mixed

c. International District Residential

d. Downtown Harborfront 1

e. Downtown Harborfront 2

f. Pike Market Mixed

 

5. Any of the following districts:

a. Ballard Avenue Landmark District

b. Columbia City Landmark District

c. Fort Lawton Landmark District

d. Harvard-Belmont Landmark District

e. International Special Review District

f. Pike Place Market Historical District

g. Pioneer Square Preservation District

h. Sand Point Overlay District

 

Additionally, the proposed legislation would add definitions related to marijuana.  It would also modify provisions for community gardens and urban farms on industrially zoned property in the Duwamish and Ballard/Interbay Manufacturing and Industrial Centers to clarify existing standards and limit indoor agricultural operations to a maximum size of 10,000 square feet, excluding associated office or food processing areas.

A public hearing on the proposals is scheduled at 2 p.m. April 24 at Seattle City Hall’s City Council Chambers, Second floor, 600 Fourth Ave.

26 thoughts on “Zoning proposal could restrict Seattle marijuana sales in tourist areas, historical districts

  1. It’s getting very complicated as to where pot can be grown, processed, and sold in Seattle. I have to wonder if this micro-regulation (by the state law and now possibly by the City) reflects a certain unease/regret with the whole idea of legalization. As far as prohibiting it in “tourist zones,” that seems a little silly….pot tourists will be easily able to buy it elsewhere.

    I read somewhere that Amsterdam has now restricted the purchase of pot to residents of the Netherlands. What do they know that we need to know?

    • > I read somewhere that Amsterdam has now restricted the purchase of pot to residents of the Netherlands

      While that was true last year the newly Govt. reversed the law implemented by the prior administration allowing the coffee shops to stay open (even for tourists). During the restricted period delivery services opened up to skirt the law. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/world/europe/amsterdam-mayor-says-cannabis-coffee-shops-will-remain-open.html

      • Bob, thanks. The article you reference says that the federal Dutch government still intends to disallow non-residents to buy pot in Holland. Do you know otherwise?

        I don’t like the idea that Seattle/Washington State will become a mecca for pot tourists, but it looks like that’s where we are headed. But I still hope the feds will intervene.

        • So you don’t like the money generated by MJ and the tourists seeking it out – all that would improve not only our state economy but the local economy as well?? And you hope the freedom losing * rabel rousing feds come in here and intervene?? We have had quite enough of that, thank you. I have the solution to keep the feds not only….off balance on this issue but they’ll be leaving for good once public opinion kicks in. Public opinion on what?? The only mistake by those looking to legalize MJ was that they should have told the public and all who would listen that IF the state of Washington makes any monies from the legalization and state control of MJ, that will go to fully funding education. That would up the support on the local level and as soon as the feds kept up their mischief on busting dispensaries and they were called out in our local media EVERY TIME they acted in such a way, like – “there they (the feds) go again, stealing educational dollars with their misguided policies from your children still in a Washington state school”. I’ll guarantee that their anti-freedom & liberty position on legal cannabis in Washington state will change like the Washington weather and just as fast.
          Anyway, I realize that some folks (like you) can’t handle freedom & liberty. But the beauty about that is that it will work for you too!!! Yes…if you don’t like what’s going on here may I suggest you do the opposite of what I have been doing in inviting all friends of cannabis to come to this state and set up shop so to speak??. They, their money, their freedom & liberty attitudes, and their cannabis would be a welcome addition compared to the old, stodgy got their noses in everyone’s business, “there ought to be a law against” crowd aye-holes like you. It’s a new day for cannabis in Washington state and as soon as these cannabis aficionados learn that there’s also NO STATE INCOME TAX here…..well I doubt if YOU are going to like living here at all, what with all this freedom & liberty breaking out in numerous places around our state. And with all these cannabis favoring new state citizens coming in from God knows where. I for one am looking forward to that day as are the majority who voted in favor of this needed & leading edge legislation!!!.

          • and I doubt we will like living here with all the stoned people bringing more stoned people. I am afraid it will ruin the state for those of us who don’t want to be exposed to so much drugs and so many druggies.

  2. Looks like I’m going to have to update my new Google Map as dispensaries are chased around town. http://m.JetCityOrange.com/mmj/

    Sounds more like a game of whack-a-mole than sensible urban planning. Question: are the new 502 store rules any different from where state liquor stores of old where located? Why was it OK to have liquor stores in the downtown core but now it’s Evil to have cannabis sold there? I smell BS!

  3. The Netherlands are quite different than states in the US. Netherlands are smack dab in Europe where the entire world can easily travel and tour. Washington and Colorado will mostly get tourists from with the states. Once legalization becomes a reality in other states, the taboo will be much less and there will be fewer tourists.

    • As for pot tourists to Washington state being mostly from other states, I would simply ask if you’ve ever been to a Seattle Mariners baseball game?? Or Hempfest? Or Bumbershoot?? Or The Bite of Seattle? Because IF you have been to any of these events you know that Seattle is a tourist destination for LOTS of folks from Asia too. Now to add cannabis tourism that certainly lasts for longer than a weekend like Hempfest or Bumbershoot and I’m predicting even more tourists – from everywhere. Especially those that like to sample the locally produced product everyone in the world has been hearing about since our election and now knows what Washington state is famous for….besides the rain, the salmon, the wines, the mountains, the beers and the coffees. And that would be World Class strains of organically grown & locally produced cannabis made especially for the tourist trade. Think I’m kidding?? Just look at Amsterdam and remember that that’s only one relatively small location in all of Europe. Here the whole state and multiple locations will benefit from cannabis tourism. Hey…if they come to taste the wines (and they do by the thousands) trust me when I say that they are going to do the same thing for cannabis only on a greater scale. Cannabis tourism in the beautiful state of Washington is only in it’s infancy and is just starting. Between the opportunities that are becoming more & more self evident for those that can put something together, along with the fact that Washington state has NO STATE INCOME TAX and I can see a few “cannaprenours” leaving their misery and home state behind and moving to the promise land of cannabis freedom – Washington state, where YOU, your money and your cannabis are welcome. Head west young man, head west!!! Opportunity is knocking….

  4. By the time all of our Asshat politicians get through messing with 502 it will be totally worthless. Why all the restrictions on a herb that is safer than almost anything sold in your neighborhood convenience store? The only thing special about MerryWanna is that it is a god given herb that promotes healing for the sick, a safer alternative to alcohol and tobacco for the recreational user,and hysterical Reefer Madness in our asshat politicians.

  5. I don’t like this idea. While I am squarely against marijuana for anything but legitimate medical reasons and voted against legalization, this will likely have some disastrous consequences:
    1) It’s not fair to tell people it’s legal to smoke and then keep shifting the zones so they will not know when they are on the correct side of local law (it’s still against federal law).
    2) Limiting it to certain zones will potentially cover other zones (like much of Capitol Hill) in toxic green smoke. It’s already becoming harder to go out in public without being exposed (unwillingly in my case) to other people’s marijuana habit. I don’t know why certain areas should be protected from it and not others.

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  7. Amsterdam and remember that that’s only one relatively small location in all of Europe. Here the whole state and multiple locations will benefit from cannabis tourism.

    • I kind of doubt that a tourist from, say, Japan, is going to visit, say, Yakima to get his/her pot. It’s going to be Seattle, mainly, that benefits from pot tourism.

      In my opinion, generating more money for government is not a valid reason to legalize a drug (a state income tax would be a much better way). Pro-pot people here can toss around words like “freedom” and “liberty” all they want, but that’s a smokescreen for what is really going on, and that is legally-sanctioned drug use/abuse.

  8. The only mistake by those looking to legalize MJ was that they should have told the public and all who would listen that IF the state of Washington makes any monies from the legalization and state control of MJ, that will go to fully funding education. That would up the support on the local level and as soon as the feds kept up their mischief on busting dispensaries and they were called out in our local media EVERY TIME they acted in such a way, like – “there they (the feds) go again, stealing educational dollars with their misguided policies from your children still in a Washington state school”.

  9. The only thing special about MerryWanna is that it is a god given herb that promotes healing for the sick, a safer alternative to alcohol and tobacco for the recreational user,and hysterical Reefer Madness in our asshat politicians.

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