Redmond Ridge residents speak out against pot rezoning proposal

SEATTLE -- The King County Council tabled a proposed rezoning ordinance that could have paved the way for a marijuana processing facility in Redmond Ridge.

The council held a public hearing Monday, and dozens of residents spoke up in opposition to the rezoning plan.  The big concern was where the facility would go.  The proposed site is along 231st Way Southeast in Redmond Ridge.  A company named Red Ridge has already applied for the license to operate there.

Many residents, including Virginia Onu, who has called Redmond Ridge home since 2004, worries this could put her children in danger.

"It doesn't belong near elementary schools, day cares, after-school programs, it doesn't belong in our neighborhoods, there is a time and place," Onu said.

The location is beyond a required 1,000-foot buffer from schools and parks.  Republican state Sen. Andy Hill, who represents Legislative District 45  and lives in Redmond Ridge, said he worries the facility would bring in the wrong crowd and adversely affect property values.

"When you've got a product that's going to have a 75 percent tax placed on it and a viable black market that would love to get its hands on that product tax-free and sell it, my concern is having a processing plant there is going to be a huge magnet for crime," Hill said.

The King County Council will discuss the plan further at a council meeting set for Monday, Dec. 9.