Bainbridge council further discusses potential zoning of marijuana businesses

The Bainbridge Island City Council will continue an already-started conversation on interim zoning regulations for potential marijuana businesses at its meeting this week.

At the Aug. 21 study session, the council asked city staff come back to them with potential interim regulations.

In response, Planning Director Kathy Cook will present a draft ordinance covering legal marijuana businesses that was based on an ordinance recently passed by the city of Poulsbo.

The interim regulations include medical and recreational marijuana businesses, and limits processors, retailers and medical marijuana "collective gardens" to business industrial zones.

The collective gardens must also be established inside permanent structures that comply with the city's building code and must be 500 feet away from other marijuana businesses, collective gardens or residential areas.

The interim rules, if passed, will allow city staff to permit marijuana-related licenses with minimal negative impact on the community. In doing this, the rules will act as placeholders for six months while the council deliberates more comprehensive regulations.

In considering a permanent zoning ordinance, the city will examine impacts experienced by other communities such as: the degradation of a neighborhood due to shuttered up homes, offensive odors, night time traffic and loitering; environmental damage; illegal structural modifications; conversion of a residence into a processing facility; and criminal issues, such as burglaries at medical marijuana facilities.

This Wednesday, the council will decide whether to establish interim zoning regulations at next week's meeting.

The city council meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday. Discussion of marijuana-related zoning will take place during the staff intensive portion of the agenda after 7:10 p.m.



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