Notices Mailed to Property Owners About Marijuana Ban

Release Date: 
09/22/2015

More than 1,700 property owners in Hermiston will soon receive a letter from the City of Hermiston with the ominous language that a proposed ordinance, “may affect the value of your property.”  The notice regards a proposal to specifically ban marijuana related activities in all zoning designations throughout the city, and the reference to property values is a standard requirement which cities must meet for certain land use decisions.  In this case, every property in the city where commercial activities may take place would be affected, and the theoretical effect to property value is the result of specifically losing the ability to conduct marijuana related activities.

It is already illegal to operate a medical marijuana dispensary, recreational retail outlet, and other kinds of marijuana activities on any properties within Hermiston.  Hermiston Municipal Code 157.004(E) states that, “all uses and development must comply with all other applicable city, regional, state, and federal regulations and laws,” and marijuana is illegal federally.

“Hermiston voters, and Umatilla County voters as a whole, opposed Measure 91 by 62%,” said Byron Smith, City Manager.  “The proposed ban therefore uses the allowances in Measure 91 to strengthen our existing marijuana prohibitions.”

The Hermiston City Council, at their August 24 meeting, directed staff to begin the process to create an ordinance specifically banning marijuana dispensaries, retailers, wholesalers, producers, and processors.  The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance at 7 p.m. on October 14, and the City Council will hold a public hearing on the issue at 7 p.m. on October 26.

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