By Jack Mayne

A proposed new retail pot store was nixed at a special meeting of the Normandy Park City Council Tuesday night, July 27, 2020.

A Council majority voted no at the end of a long discussion on Ordinance 1009, which would have reduced the 1,000-foot buffer for certain entities, such as a retail cannabis store, to keep them from potential interaction with kids.

No buffer move
One Councilmember said that “based on the testimony received to date, which is overwhelmingly against reducing the 1,000-foot buffer for certain entities as specified in state law, such as a marijuana store, I move to end further discussion of this topic, to not refer this topic to the Planning Commission for consideration and a recommendation, to cancel the future Council workshop on this topic, and to not refer this for an advisory vote at the Nov. 3, 2020 general election because of the Normandy Park Council opposition.”

The Council spent a few minutes discussing whether or not to change pubic comment rules to be after, not before the presentation on whether to allow the marijuana sales at a store in a parking lot near where young children play. Get the information before the pros and cons, seemed to be the message of Councilmember Mike Bishoff. He added that most people, and Councilmembers, had already made up their minds on the issue and the discussions would not change people’s views.

Then Police Chief Dan Yourkoski was asked to read a great many communications to the city about the potential pot sales facility and most seemed opposed to the location near a children’s playground and several commercial establishment that could temp parents and children.

Yourkoski was thanked for his “stellar performance’ reading the pile of letters from Normandy Park residents and others interested in the community.

Declaration of Emergency
The Normandy Park Declaration of Emergency is still in effect and field rentals, playground equipment, active recreation, park restrooms, city park car lots, and City Hall are closed to the public. All programs will re-open when Highline Public Schools re-open for regular student attendance. Meanwhile, city employees will work from home during this period with limited, socially-distanced exceptions. Employees will be a home for 14 days if any fever or COVID-related symptoms are noted. All city meetings are cancelled during this period unless held remotely, consistent with OPMA. All business with City Hall will be by remote Zoom appointment and/or arranged drop-off only.