Ocean Shores looks at pot questions

OCEAN SHORES — If the city were to permit a retail marijuana business in Ocean Shores, it would have to be located at the south end of the peninsula far away from the main retail core, according to a city staff map prepared for the Planning Commission.

In a 20-page presentation for the Planning Commission’s public hearing at the Convention Center, city staff identified the areas that could be considered for the city’s one retail marijuana business as allocated by the state Liquor Control Board. The report outlines possible properties outside of a 1,000-foot buffer from parks or other public facilities with a map showing the areas allowed, and another map showss areas to be excluded by a 1,000-foot buffer, including most of the city.

The report states that under the new marijuana legalization law, no license can be issued for a marijuana business within “1,000 feet of the perimeter of the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, or library, or any game arcade admission to which is not restrict to persons aged 21 or older.”

There are approximately 103 commercial-zoned properties outside the 1,000 foot buffer that could potentially locate a retail marijuana sales facility, according to the report prepared by Alicia Bridges, city planner.

• Of the 103 properties, there are 41 in the B-1 Retail Commercial zone and 62 in the B-2 General Commercial zone.

• These are primarily located along the south end of Point Brown Ave., Marine View Dr., Silver King Ave, Adventurer St. and Jetty View Ave .

• There are 4 lots on Mount Olympus (B-1 zoned).

• Three Courts off Wawona Ave and one off Marine View Dr.

• The Marina, Marina RV Park and the Damon Point area are also outside the 1,000-foot buffer. However, if Damon Point (an area that is governed by DNR and is heavily visited by tourists) were to be included, some of these would be eliminated.

Comment from the Planning Commission hearing, under way as the North Coast News was going to press, and any written comments submitted by Friday will be presented in a follow-up report to the City Council at a later date.

The official notice said the hearing is “to receive public testimony and comment related directly to regulating the potential locations, production, processing, and retail sales of recreational marijuana within the city of Ocean Shores.”

The moratorium is scheduled to end May 25, and was to be in place for six months to give the city time to develop a map that could outline possible areas for the businesses to operate as long as the policy complied with state and federal law.

Mayor Crystal Dingler told the City Council April 14 that a scheduled study session on the pending marijuana retail business applications had to be postponed until the Planning Commission conducted its hearing and the public had a chance to comment formally.

“The Planning Commission is here to gather information today from you, the public, so they can prepare a rationale and recommendation to the City Council to help prepare regulations for this industry,” said the report presented Tuesday.

The report notes the maximum number of allowed retail outlets licensed in a county is determined at the state level by “taking into consideration the population distribution, security and safety issues, and the provision or adequate access to licensed sources of usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products to discourage purchases for the illegal market.”

Grays Harbor County has been allocated six licenses, with three at large, one in Aberdeen, one in Hoquiam and one in Ocean Shores. The state lottery to select the applicants began on Monday and continues through Friday.

The report notes there are three retail applications for the Ocean Shores’ license, 11 applications in Aberdeen, three in Hoquiam, and others in Cosmopolis, Elma, Grayland, Montesano and Ocean City, for a total of 24 retail applications in the county.

“Aberdeen has recently lifted their moratorium and reworked their zoning laws and may end up with a retail store in the middle of town” as well as allowing processing in industrial zones, the report said.


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