Young chef enters contest See...A10
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2013 | Vol. 89, No. 84 | WWW.SOUTHWHIDBEYRECORD.COM | 75¢
Village by the bong? ‘We believe that our community is uniquely open-minded about this kind of business.’ — Mayor Fred McCarthy
Maxwelton Farm sues county, planning chief named By JANIS REID South Whidbey Record
Ben Watanabe / The Record
Recreational marijuana may someday be for sale at a Langley retail location on Third Street. The city council is set to discuss zoning changes next week that could pave the way for a future store.
Langley to reconsider cannabis discussion By BEN WATANABE South Whidbey Record Following the recent adoption of state regulations for recreational marijuana, Langley city officials are now looking at their own pot-shop rules. The Langley City Council will discuss the issue at its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, Oct. 21, starting at 5:30 p.m. It will be the first time the city has addressed recreational marijuana sales and almost two years after rejecting a proposal to alter city code to allow medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. “We believe that our community is uniquely
open-minded about this kind of business,” said Mayor Fred McCarthy. He was recently contacted by Pete O’Neil about possibly opening a store to sell recreational marijuana, which was legalized by a voters’ initiative in 2012. The mayor said the city’s denizens are likely to support the idea, so long as pot can stay out of children’s hands. “Our sense is that the residents of Langley will be open to this as long as there are provisions made to ensure that underage people are not unduly exposed to the presence of this business,” he said.
Langley is poised to strike on a potential business that other municipalities on Whidbey Island have shunned. Oak Harbor recently passed a six-month moratorium on recreational and medical marijuana businesses. Island County was allotted four retail locations: one in Oak Harbor and three at-large outlets. “It would be nice to be on the leading edge of the island to allow it,” said Councilman Bruce Allen. “I don’t have a problem with it. There are SEE MARIJUANA, A20
Maxwelton Farm on South Whidbey has filed a land-use petition against Island County, claiming Planning Director David Wechner acted outside his scope of authority. Wechner sent a cease-and-desist letter dated Aug. 30 to Maxwelton Farms. He ordered them to stop work on water-filled agricultural ditches “as a result of agricultural ditch maintenance without a SEPA environmental checklist,” according to court documents. The State Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA, requires project managers to complete an environmental checklist, which asks questions about the potential environmental impacts to the air, animals, earth, land use, utilities, wetlands, groundwater and other considerations. The farm’s owners could not be reached, and attorneys for the farm did not return calls for comment. Saying Wechner acted with a “lack of authority,” the court documents allege that, while Island County code allows the planning director to issue a cease-and-desist letter for continued violations, it does not authorize the planning director to issue a letter on the grounds of a SEPA violation. “Furthermore, the Island County planning director does not have the authority to issue a cease-and-desist order directing that some activity occurring on property in Island County cease, unless Island County prohibits that activity or requires that some permit be secured …” the farm representatives argue. Maxwelton Farm and its predecessors operated a farm at the site for more than 50 years, according to the court documents, and therefore are governed by Island County’s “old” Critical Areas Ordinance. SEE PETITION, A20