Bainbridge council moves away from allowing marijuana farms on residential land

The Bainbridge Island City Council proposed Monday to limit marijuana growing operations to indoor facilities in the area zoned for business/industrial uses near Day Road.

If given final approval after a public hearing next month, the council's proposal would reject the Bainbridge Island Planning Commission's narrow 4-3 recommendation to allow marijuana growing in select residential areas.

"I am inclined to give some weight to the planning commission decision, because the process and time they put into it," said Councilman Val Tollefson.

"But I'm also sensitive to the fact that, although the planning commission usually tries to do these things by consensus, they weren't able to this time," he said.

While Tollefson said the council should follow the recommendations of the commission, Mayor Anne Blair brought forward an altogether separate proposal that found more consensus with the council.

By unanimous vote, the council agreed to schedule a public hearing on May 12 for Blair's proposal.

The ordinance requires marijuana production to be limited to indoor facilities in the business/industrial zone subject to several conditions. A site plan review and design review permit would be required for marijuana-growing businesses and must be approved prior to city approval of a business license.

Also, electricity usage must be offset by 50 percent new renewable energy sources generated on Bainbridge Island.

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