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Council prohibits marijuana businesses from three neighborhoods, allows them in industrial zones

City of Kirkland - Contributed Art
City of Kirkland
— image credit: Contributed Art

Kirkland City Council voted to prohibit marijuana business from opening up in the Norkirk, Moss Bay and Everest neighborhoods while approving them in another Light Industrial Technology (LIT) zones.

At its meeting Tuesday night, the council voted unanimously to amend its interim zoning regulations adopted in March concerning possible marijuana businesses in LIT zones adjacent to residential neighborhoods.

The amendment prohibits marijuana businesses in LIT zones where 50 percent or more of the zone's boundaries are with commercial zones. The interim zoning regulations and the amendment passed Tuesday night are set to expire in September, when the council is expected to take the matter up again.

In a June 6 memo sent to City Manager Kurt Triplett, city staff concluded that it was best to restrict marijuana retail outlets in some or all of the LIT zones under the interim regulations, which last for six months before they expire.

City Manager Kurt Triplett stated in a phone interview that the council has several options available in September. They can either allow marijuana sales in only in LIT zones substantially bounded by commercial zones, remove all LIT zones as possible locations for marijuana stores, or restrict them in certain LIT zones while allowing them in other areas, such as North Rose Hill and the area between the Cross-Kirkland Corridor and Kirkland Avenue south of Central Way.

No matter what they decide, however, Triplett said the council is unlikely to pass a permanent ordinance until sometime next year due to other issues on the Planning Commission's agenda.

In March, the council imposed a moratorium on marijuana stores in the Market Street Corridor and other neighborhoods like Norkirk after residents complained about the potential impact on traffic and crime.

Properties that are located next to the designated Kirkland School Walk Routes are also exempt from having marijuana shops.

More information about Kirkland’s interim zoning regulations for the retail sale of marijuana can be found at www.kirklandwa.gov/marijuanainkirkland.

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