Friday, April 22, 2016
To the Editor:
I am writing to voice my concern over the city's decision to allow a seemingly unlimited volume of Recreational Marijuana stores in our neighborhoods and arterials.
Although I am not an opponent of the legalization law, I do object to the what appears to be no oversight, zoning restrictions (other than the school/park), or concern from the city as to how many of these stores are actually opening up.
Speaking specifically of the North City neighborhood (15th Ave NE from 160th to 200th), in the last few months we have had three recreational marijuana stores, a "smoke" shop selling pipes and other paraphernalia, and a medical marijuana store, and I'm told the spay and neuter clinic across from Safeway and next to the post office is going to be a marijuana outlet as well. That makes five marijuana retailers on a stretch of road 1/4" mile long.
This is grossly excessive and will no doubt have a negative impact on the neighborhood in terms of its ability to be a vibrant area for families and youth.
I believe I speak for the majority of the residents of the North City neighborhood when saying that "we" the people who live here would prefer businesses that we can patronize with our children. We would prefer businesses that help create a better community and bolster our already great schools and infrastructure.
I don't mean to say there should be none, but for that small strip of road, I think one store is more than adequate to meet the needs of those who wish to use marijuana. I also find it fundamentally wrong that if a bar or restaurant wants to open they must first post a sign of intent to sell liquor for 30-60 days which may be disputed by any citizen -- yet we have no recourse for marijuana stores?
I truly believe the City Council and Government has done a great job of being fiscally responsible, maintaining our parks and roadways, and our school system. I would ask that something be done on a local level about the Recreational Marijuana problem and make no mistake, this is a problem which needs only a little foresight to realize.