Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

Planning commission to discuss marijuana moratorium issue


The Medical Lake Planning Commission met for the first time since February, with the main topic of discussion being the preliminary marijuana-zoning moratorium passed by City Council in January.

Under the moratorium, the city shall not accept or process applications for land use approvals for marijuana production, processing and retailing locations. This includes the manufacturing and sale of marijuana products or paraphernalia such as pipes, growing equipment or other items.

City Administrator Doug Ross, who runs the Planning Commission meetings after Glenn Scholten stepped down as city planner at the beginning of the year, explained the moratorium is active until June. He added the city has not received any applications to build a facility within the city limits.

“We have received two proposals to build on areas with Medical Lake addresses, but that’s not the same as being within the city limits,” Ross said.

Ross said the Washington State Liquor Control Board enacted a rule where facilities cannot be located within 1,000 feet of schools, day cares and parks. He explained that there are enough of these areas throughout Medical Lake to cover all of the commercial property within the city limits, under the 1,000-foot boundary.

According to Ross, the only location for a facility would be the light industrial area on South Graham Road where the old Nike Missile site used to be. He added the location would be limited to only a processing, growing or retail facility.

Ross said the commission would talk more in-depth about the moratorium and the marijuana issue at the May 29 meeting. He added that he would take the commission’s recommendations and bring them to the City Council.

Commissioner Wayne Ueda said it’s good that the city is being proactive about the issue, even though they have not seen any applications.

In other business, Ross said he expects two subdivision applications to come in and that the commission will be “very busy.”

Commissioner Mark Hudson said he is glad to see the Subway “doing well” and asked if there were any other applications for businesses in the empty spaces next to it. Ross said the city has not received applications at this time.

Ross said the City Council is trying to decide on what to do with the old Ball and Dodd funeral home, located at 111 W. Brooks Road. According to Ross, one possibility is to demolish the building and sell the lot as vacant property.

“It’s hard selling a lot with buildings and having to bring everything up to code,” Ross said. “It’s probably better to do it as a clean slate.”

Al Stover can be reached at


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