Neighbors raise concerns over legal marijuana operations next do - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Neighbors raise concerns over legal marijuana operations next door

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Several neighbors in the West Plains met Monday night to discuss a marijuana grow operation being built close to homes. Several neighbors in the West Plains met Monday night to discuss a marijuana grow operation being built close to homes.
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -

Since October, Spokane County has amended zoning regulations for marijuana businesses four times, county leaders say. Right now the county has an interim ordinance in unincorporated parts of Spokane County on marijuana businesses. It states producers and processors may not be within 100 feet of the front of a property or 300 feet from the side of a property. It also says that marijuana processing is "limited to packaging and labeling" and may not include oil extraction which can be explosive if not properly done.

Several neighbors in the West Plains met Monday night to discuss a marijuana grow operation being built close to homes. The operation is within the legal and county zoning guidelines, but some neighbors fear it may attract crime and create other issues. 

"These business have to be 1,000 feet away from a school with small children inside. I think they need to be 1,000 feet away from my kids because mine are no less important," Jennie Brown, a neighbor living in the West Plains told KHQ's Dylan Wohlenhaus. 

Some neighbors also took issue with receiving no notice from the county that a marijuana business was being built. There is no law that states a business must notify neighbors. Neighbors who spoke with KHQ also say they do not want to put the processor out of business, rather make sure it's not at the expense of homeowners' property rights and home value.

Around 80 percent of Spokane County is zoned to allow marijuana production and processing businesses to operate. However, county leaders say not all that land meets state requirements, meaning there is less land where businesses would be allowed. 

"I don't think they forfeit their right to object to something. But we as the entity that enforces the regulations cannot preclude that because someone doesn't like or want it," John Pederson tells KHQ. Pederson is the planning director for Spokane County. 

The county has yet to draft a final ordinance on the issue to replace the interim zoning rules.

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