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Washington became one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012. But there are a lot of challenges ahead: the state must set up a licensing system for marijuana growers and sellers, the federal government may mount a challenge, the need to set a new limit on amount of marijuana in the bloodstream for safe driving. And medical marijuana is still in the picture.Over the next several months we will be exploring the issue and tracking the impact of I-502.

Eastside Suburb Fights Pot Grow, Says Too Close To School

KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy
The site of a proposed marijuana growing and processing facility in Redmond Ridge.

The King County Council will revisit a proposal Monday on a controversial zoning plan for growing marijuana in unincorporated parts of the county.

The vote was delayed after residents of Redmond Ridge, an affluent Eastside suburb, opposed the measure. They said that an indoor pot grow at a 70,000-square-foot business park is just a couple of turns from a school, walking trails and directly across the street from a sensitive wetland.  

Jen Boon, president of the Redmond Ridge homeowner association, said the residents aren’t lobbying against the legalization of marijuana.

“That has been decided it’s settled,” Boon said. “Recreational marijuana use for adults is legal here. Now we all have to work together to make this industry properly functioning properly regulated and the least impactful to kids as we can.”

Boon said the site appears legal, although that could be challenged depending on how the site is measured. By law, there must be 1,000 feet between a pot grow and a school. Over the weekend, the business site was reportedly measured again and found to be 995 feet from the school.  

Although Redmond Ridge is a relatively new development on Redmond’s far east side, its neighbors keep a vigilant eye out for strangers. When a KUOW reporter visited recently, a resident approached, demanding details about her visit and the name of the person she was interviewing.

UPDATE: 12/11/13, 11 a.m. PT

In a 5-4 vote Monday, King County Council members voted in a packed council chambers to remove the business park in Redmond Ridge as a possible location for marijuana growing and processing.