Kirkland City Council passes ordinance, temporarily bans marijuana shops in Market Street zone

Initiative 502 was passed by Washington state voters in November 2012, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. - File Art
Initiative 502 was passed by Washington state voters in November 2012, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
— image credit: File Art

The Kirkland City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits the sale of recreational marijuana in the Market Street Corridor (MSC) 1 zone for six months.

The Council passed Ordinance O-4434 on a 5-2 vote after a public hearing at the Feb. 4 meeting.

Councilman Toby Nixon proposed to remove the MSC 2 zone from the original ordinance and the motion passed.

With the amendment, Nixon, Councilman Dave Asher, Councilwoman Doreen Marchione, Deputy Mayor Penny Sweet and Mayor Amy Walen voted ‘yes’ while Councilwoman Shelley Kloba and Councilman Jay Arnold voted against the ordinance.

The city looked at regulating marijuana sales along Market Street after several residents of the area voiced opposition to potential pot shops in the heavily residential area.

Eight citizens testified in favor of the interim regulations and three testified against it, including a couple who had hoped to open a marijuana retail shop in Kirkland.

The couple said that out of the 39 people who applied, only seven are in viable places. Of those seven, only one land owner on Market Street is willing to lease to a marijuana retailer, they said.

During the next six months, the city will work to prepare zoning code amendments for the MSC 1 zone. If needed, the City Council may extend the interim regulations for another six months after another public hearing.

The MSC 1 zone extends along Market Street from Eighth Avenue to 19th Ave.

The city will send a letter to the Washington Liquor Control Board to explain the adoption of the interim regulations as the board continues to review marijuana retail license applications.

Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana in November 2012 with the passing of Initiative 502. Since then, state and city governments have worked to develop laws around the new business.


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