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Hoquiam marijuana could be limited following public hearing

January 23, 2014

The City of Hoquiam Planning Commission held a public hearing last night before voting to make a recommendation to the City Council regarding an ordinance related to marijuana businesses inside Hoquiam city limits.

At the meeting, the ordinance prepared by City Attorney Steve Johnson recommended that any new business that planned to produce, process, or sell retail marijuana would be located in an Industrial zoned area, and not permitted in any retail or residential districts. This ordinance also prohibits any medical marijuana collective gardens anywhere within city limits.

Planning Commission member Linda Hurd spoke out at the meeting, saying that these restrictions were not enough, and the City should follow the lead of Yakima in banning marijuana business altogether. When asked about the benefits of taxes and jobs from marijuana legalization by Jennifer Winkelman, Hurd said that she could not see them, saying “we don’t need those jobs”.

The current Hoquiam moratorium on marijuana businesses expires in February. The new ordinance changes the city Municipal Code, adding multiple sections. It changes the description of an Industrial district to say that these districts accommodate “those general retail uses that do not serve community and neighborhood needs and are not compatible with other commercial land uses allowed in commercial zoning districts”.

The ordinance would also prohibit any collective gardens within any zoning district, saying that any violation is declared to be a “public nuisance” and the business may be abated.

The only adjustment made to the ordinance will be adjusting the land use of a marijuana business from “Permitted” to “Conditional”, meaning that the public could have a say if a business applies for an industrial location. The vote to approve was not unanimous.

The recommendation will now be sent the City Council.
Marijuana

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