Unofficial victory for neighborhood opposed to pot facility

REDMOND, Wash. -- An unofficial victory for one Eastside community working to halt the proposed processing of marijuana in their neighborhood. The Redmond Ridge community is concerned that proposed boundaries for the legal pot industry could put their community at risk.

"I think a lot of people are confusing our fight," said Virginia Onu, a resident of Redmond Ridge who opposes pot manufacturing in her community. "We are not against legalized marijuana, we are simply for responsible zoning."

In just a matter of two weeks neighbors, parents, children and business owners have mobilized a community effort against King County over its proposed pot zoning ordinance that could bring big pot into this planned community.

"Marijuana is not a substance that should be here," said Sai Ramanath, resident of Redmond Ridge.

The proposed ordinance says marijuana processing would be allowed in the Redmond Ridge Business Park. It's an area surrounded by several growing neighborhoods full of young families.

"Our biggest concern is safety," said Ramanath.

According to the state liquor board a company named Red Ridge Farms, LCC has applied for a license to start producing marijuana in a large building along 231st Way SE in Redmond Ridge.

County officials originally believed the proposed location fell outside the state's 1000-foot buffer zone from schools and parks. But two days ago, the area was re-measured. Officials determined there was an error in the distance between Redmond Ridge Park and the proposed facility.

Workers measured 995 feet between the park and the facility. That means the park, which is used by children, does fall within the 1000-foot buffer zone.

"If the citizens want this we need to do it in a way that is fair to the communities most impacted," said Kathy Lambert who represents District 2 on the King County Council. "In line with what the federal government has said, to make sure that our children are protected and that it is without the 1000-foot buffers."

But it's far from a done deal. The decision will be up the to King County Council. The proposed boundaries will be discussed during a public hearing Monday at the King County House at 1:30 p.m.

The meeting is open to the public.