Kittitas County looking to change pot zoning rules

Kittitas County looking to change pot zoning rules »Play Video
KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. -- Richard and Ginger Wilkins enjoy living in a spot tucked away from the city.

"It's quiet; it's a very secure and safe area. They're all ranchers and like people. We all know each other," said Ginger Wilkins.

But the couple is worried a new neighbor could change that. A marijuana processing and growing company is looking at the land near Richard and Ginger to set up business.

Americanna Naturals would like to add a 60,000 square foot building on Carroll Road. The couple worries about the added traffic, people and propensity for crime.

“We haven't locked this house in almost 12 years we've been in it. And you can believe we’re locking everything now," said Richard Wilkins

Commissioners heard complaints from Richard and Ginger's neighbors as well. It prompted them to consider making zoning rules more restrictive and with more public review.

This could mean marijuana growing and processing sites must only be indoors. All marijuana facilities could also need a conditional permit. Making it more difficult for pot businesses to get up and running.

"There could be a possibility that some of the potential marijuana growers may want to go somewhere else cause they don't want to jump through the hoops,” said Kittitas County Commissioner Obie O’Brien. “My job is not to make it easy for the marijuana producers."

To get all sides, I contacted Americanna Naturals. The company had no comment. It's already had a pre-application meeting for the proposed building, but no formal application was submitted.

The rules could change shortly after the rules were made, for those looking to start a marijuana business in Kittitas County.

Final rules for pot zoning must be established by the end of the year. The proposed changes will be discussed Monday by the Kittitas County Commissioners.