Seattle DPD
This map from Seattle's Department of Planning and Development shows areas where recreational marijuana retail stores may be allowed when they open late in 2013. Yellow indicates areas where recreational outlets may be allowed, based on city and state regulations. A FULL SIZE PDF MAP IS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT THE TOP OF THE STORY.

Where oh where will the pot shops go?

City planners create a map that helps answer the question in West Seattle

As the Washington State Liquor Control Board navigates around the state getting feedback on I-502, the legalization of recreational marijuana, and how they should set up manufacturing, distribution and retail sales of the drug, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development has created a map illustrating the few, far and in-between spots retail shops may be able to open in the city.

The map was first shared publically by Dominic Holden with The Stranger late last month, and gives a glimpse into potential locations in West Seattle and along the White Center border.

Shops won’t actually open until December of this year, and strict limitations lead to only small swaths of land where the green stuff can flow freely. Based on the language of I-502, recreational storefronts cannot be located within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, community centers and transit centers. On top of that, Seattle’s City Council is considering legislation to exclude shops from single-family and multi-family zoned areas.

The map itself, which DPD states is intended for internal analysis only and “should not be used for determining potential compliance with regulations,” is broken down into three colors. Gray indicates area where only individual collective gardens are allowed (for medical marijuana patients), blue indicates areas where medical marijuana businesses are potentially allowed (they are still held to the 1,000 feet from schools limitation), and yellow indicates areas potentially OK for both recreational and medicinal marijuana storefronts.

Citywide, the yellow and potentially retail-ready zones are primarily found in industrial areas including Harbor Island and east of the Duwamish River. Zeroing in on West Seattle, potential sites for recreational stores include the following:

- An industrial area just west of Harbor Island and reaching down into North Delridge slightly

- Two small spots along California Ave. S.W. between S.W. Morgan St. and S.W. Alaska St.

- Where West Seattle and White Center meet at the intersection of 16th Ave. S.W. and S.W. Roxbury St.

- Along Myers Way S. near the border with North Highline

- Spots along the Duwamish River corridor, including a significant portion of the South Park neighborhood

Washingtonians will have to wait until this summer for the WSLCB to finalize their retail plans (and until December for stores to actually open), but the map indicates possible locations where recreational cannabis storefronts could show up.

Holden with the Stranger wrote that “black market pot dealers could remain preferable to largely inaccessible legal stores.” In response, some readers countered they would be happily willing to drive or take a bus once in a while to stock up on cannabis in a legal fashion.

Only time will tell how this all shakes out.

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