The Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District wants the city to block a cannabis shop seeking to move into property near the Sunset Recreation Center, but it is unlikely the city will take action.
The property on N. Roosevelt Drive is less than 500 feet from the northwest corner of the recreation center, which was formerly Broadway Middle School. State law generally prohibits marijuana retailers within 1,000 feet of schools, but the recreation center does not meet the definition of a school.
The recreation center houses the catalog of the park district’s youth programs, including the preschool, after-school programs and summer camps.
“The SRC may not meet the OLCC (Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission) definition of a school,” Skyler Archibald, the executive director of the park district, told the City Council last Monday. “Clearly it is a building that’s used for the growth and development of children and youth. It is our position that this location is not suitable for a dispensary due to its proximity to the vulnerable populations we are currently serving and will continue to serve at the SRC.”
Archibald was joined by Katharine Parker, the president of the park district’s board, and Elizabeth Friedman, of the Northwest Regional Education Service District, which leases space in the recreation center.
“SEPRD is working towards creating a family-friendly space to meet community needs,” Parker said. “And I believe that the proposed location is not a good fit for our kids and for our community. Our youth do not need to be exposed to cannabis at such a young age.”
She called for emergency action prohibiting the shop.
“By adopting this emergency ordinance, the Seaside City Council will be protecting the youth of our community in the heart of Seaside,” Parker said.
The city is in the process of responding to a Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission land use compatibility request, Planning Director Kevin Cupples said. The applicant, CCC Holding Co. LLC, intends to use a suite in the building as a retail marijuana dispensary.
Before licensing, Seaside must complete a section in the land use compatibility statement indicating whether the proposed use meets the city’s land use regulations.
Mayor Jay Barber asked the city manager to consult with the city attorney to determine if there is any action that can be taken. “Would you proceed to give us as quickly as possible any feedback as possible regarding any options that we have?” he asked.
After a legal review, Kimberley Jordan, the city recorder, said last Friday that the retailer had all his paperwork in long before the public comment from the park district and others on Monday.
An emergency ordinance for this particular cannabis shop cannot be done, Jordan said, but the City Council can pass an ordinance for future shops that may be a concern.
“We’re just simply following the rules that you’ve laid out and the state’s laid out at this point,” City Manager Mark Winstanley said at last Monday’s meeting. “And just like any other applicant, they have the right to have us go through the process.”