City Planning Commission agrees on 1,000 foot buffer for marijua - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City Planning Commission agrees on 1,000 foot buffer for marijuana businesses

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YAKIMA, WA - In a vote of three to two, the City Planning Commission agreed on a 1,000 foot buffer for all marijuana businesses. This means shops cannot be located within 1,000 feet of, any elementary or secondary school, playgrounds, recreation centers or facilities, child care centers, public parks, public transit centers, libraries or game arcades that allow minors. This buffer was one of three options, the other two were 100 feet and 500 feet. 

Many people showed their support for and against the buffer for different reasons. Some opposed it because the buffer was too big and expressed that it would force marijuana shops to be clustered in small areas and areas that already face challenges. 

Others said the buffer needed to be bigger and the planning commission even considered making the buffer 2,000 feet after it was recommended by an attendee. The commissioners also discussed the possibility of adding churches to the buffer. 

"I think that ultimately we as a society are going down potentially a dangerous path when we add churches to some kind of governmental regulation scheme," said Jedidiah Haney, a cannabis activist.

If churches were to be added that would mean that over 300 would need to be mapped and other issues regarding churches would need to be discussed. Instead of including churches in the buffer the commission will be looking into providing notification to churches and residents every time someone applies for a marijuana license in their area. 

The commission decided that they will continue their discussion on Monday the 20th at 3:30 P.M.