Eastside community upset about pot boundaries, processing business

REDMOND, Wash. -- People in one Eastside neighborhood feel like they’re fighting an uphill battle against the legal pot industry and the King County Council.

They're worried a huge marijuana-processing facility could wind up in the middle of their Redmond Ridge neighborhood. Homeowners say they are concerned the business could mean a drop in property values and a rise in crime.

“If this could happen here, this could happen anywhere in unincorporated King County,” said Jen Boon, president of the Redmond Ridge Homeowners Association.

Dozens of concerned Redmond Ridge residents skipped the shopping on Black Friday to plan their fight against the county’s proposed pot-zoning ordinance.

“All I’m saying is find a remote area that doesn’t impact the neighborhoods and community,” said neighbor Ruti Gupta.

Thousands of families live in this section of unincorporated King County.

Not one person who attended the emergency community meeting showed support for the proposed pot business or zoning boundaries.

“(It’s) a small seed of salmonella during Thanksgiving dinner and dropping it in everybody’s plate,” said neighbor Ram Krishnan.

“It may be in unincorporated county, but it’s not less populated,” said Gupta. “It’s not a farmland.”

A company named Red Ridge Farms has applied for a license to process marijuana inside a Redmond Ridge building.

The location sits well beyond the required 1,000-foot buffer from schools and parks, but the neighboring homeowners don’t want any part of the state's great pot experiment.

“How could you put big marijuana production and distribution and not anticipate increased crime?” asked Boon. “What is the council going to do with that increase of crime?”

The King County Council will hold a public hearing about the zoning boundaries at 2 p.m. Monday. Hundreds of people from across the King County are expected to attend.