Retail cannabis store to be built near church daycare

LYNNWOOD, Wash., February 7, 2022 – A new recreational cannabis store, Motorplace CUP, is planned to be built at Motor PL and 164th ST SW in Lynnwood, just a few hundred feet from Mill Creek Foursquare Church, which operates as a daycare, raising concerns from residents that its location may be a violation of Washington State retail cannabis restrictions. 

Per the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, “You cannot set up a store within 1,000 feet of any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, library, or game arcade that allows minors to enter.” 

In addition to Mill Creek Foursquare Church and its daycare, residents also expressed concerns that the cannabis store is near the following recreational facilities, schools, and daycares: 

  • Daises Home Daycare (2,640 feet)
  • Precious Childcare and Preschool (2,112 feet)
  • Bright Star Kids Academy (4,752 feet)
  • Martha Lake Park (2,112 feet)
  • Bowlero Lynnwood (1,056 feet)
  • Alderwood Middle School (3,696 feet)
  • Martha Lake Elementary School (5,808 feet)
  • Oak Heights Elementary School (2,650 feet)

However, these locations fall outside of the 1,000 feet state restriction. 

Application Process

Trichrome and Calyx, another recreational cannabis store in the area, submitted their conditional use permit application for Motorplace CUP to the Snohomish County Department of Planning and Development Services (PDS) on June 23, 2020, with additional information submitted March 29, 2021, and July 1, 2021. 

An open record hearing was held on October 14, 2021, in which Mehran Rafizadeh of Trichome testified in support of the application, providing exhibits that the location falls within the state’s laws. Stacey Abbott testified on behalf of PDS. 

PDS received comments opposing the application from members of Mill Creek Foursquare Church, who asserted that because they run a daycare from the church, a retail marijuana store could therefore not be established on the site. Additionally, the church expressed concerns about increased traffic and inviting crime into the area. 

County code defines “daycare” as “any type of group day care programs licensed by the state of Washington for the care of children” (SCC 3091D.040). 

No evidence was presented to PDS that a licensed daycare operated in the nearby church, and following an investigation by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis board, it was found that there was no licensed daycare operating at the church. 

In addition, PDS ruled that since the church provided no evidence that retail marijuana stores invite crime and “unsupported generalized conclusions are insufficient to deny a permit otherwise expressly allowed by state and local law,” that concern was dismissed.

An application for a conditional use permit must meet the following criteria:

  • The proposal must be consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan
  • The proposal must comply with the applicable requirements of title 30 SCC
  • The proposal must not be materially detrimental to the uses or property in the immediate vicinity and;
  • The proposal is compatible with and incorporates specific features, conditions, or revisions that ensures it responds to the existing or intended character, appearance, quality of development, and physical characteristics of the site and surrounding property. 

The PDS found that the proposal was in compliance with these criteria. In addition, the PDS found that the proposed store is not within the Tulalip Indian Reservation boundaries, not within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of the grounds of any primary or secondary school or of any property owned by a school district, the store is more than 2,500 feet from the closest marijuana retail store, and the licensee holds one of the 32 active state retail licenses allowed in unincorporated Snohomish County.

Based on the PDS’s conclusion, the proposal was consistent with the comprehensive plan and complied with the applicable requirements.

The Hearing Examiner approved Motorplace CUP for a conditional use permit for the retail marijuana facility on November 3, 2021, under certain conditions. 

Current status with Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis board informed the Lynnwood Times that while Trichrome and Calyx have been approved with their local jurisdiction, they have not begun their application process for any change to their license. 

The only licensee in their system is Calyx and Trichome Creations, Inc., license number 417106, but there is no pending or submitted application for this business at this time.

Kienan Briscoe

Michael Kienan Briscoe (referred to by his middle name 'Kienan') has a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University and has worked as a freelancer for a variety of publications and organizations throughout New York City and Seattle. Journalism, to him, is one of the most important public tools to ensure an educated and aware society of events surrounding them. When he is not reporting he enjoys writing fiction and poetry, playing guitar, reading classic literature, and getting outdoors. He lives in Seattle with his two dogs.

Kienan Briscoe has 236 posts and counting. See all posts by Kienan Briscoe

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