Funds available to support Night Out 2016 activities

NightOut_logoIf your block plans to participate in this year’s Annual Night Out on August 2, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has funds to support your event.

The Small Sparks Fund provides funding for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement and relationship building. Groups can request up to $1,000 to help fund Night Out activities such as outreach materials, cultural entertainment, music, food, and kids’ activities, to name a few. The deadline for applications is Friday, July 1 and you must register first with the Department of Neighborhoods.

More information about the Small Sparks Fund is available online. It is open to applicants year-round for such activities as block parties, neighborhood sports tournaments, community picnics, and emergency preparedness training, to name a few.

Night Out is a national crime prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities.

City Light & Councilmember Johnson co-host outreach meeting on Wednesday

city light
Photo courtesy of Seattle City Light

City Light and District 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson are co-hosting a City Light Strategic Business Plan Outreach Meeting on Wednesday, May 25, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, 6535 Ravenna Ave NE.

City Light staff will provide a short presentation on the electric utility’s strategic investments, budget, and rate proposal for 2017-18 followed by a Q&A session. Applications will be available for the Utility Discount Program in addition to information about the solar and conservation programs and customer rebates.

City Light’s first strategic plan was approved by the City Council in 2012 and is updated every two years.

More information is available online. Unable to make the meeting but want to provide City Light with input about future electric service? Take their survey, also available online.

In Motion encourages Ravenna-Bryant to explore healthier transportation options

Yoin motionu may have received a packet in the mail or visited the In Motion table at last night’s RBCA annual meeting. So, what is the campaign all about?

Metro Transit’s In Motion program is asking Ravenna-Bryant community members to pledge to drive less. By taking part in the program, residents can find more ways to give their car a break and explore healthier transportation options available in Ravenna-Bryant.

If you take the pledge by August 7, you can get an ORCA card good for two weeks of unlimited travel. After signing up, program participants will be entered in weekly drawings for gift cards to local businesses.

Ravenna-Bryant was chosen, along with Capitol Hill, for the In Motion program because of the recent opening of the Link light rail extension serving our neighborhoods. Since 2004, In Motion has provided 36 King County neighborhoods and communities with tools and information about how residents can explore healthier travel options.

in motion map
This In Motion map for Ravenna-Bryant is available online and was included in the program’s recent mailing.

Will HALA increase access to opportunities for more community members?

During their May 3 meeting, the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee was briefed about Equity in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan and the Equitable Development Implementation Plan. Policies contained in the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) are part of the City’s plan for creating equity in Seattle. Learn more about HALA during RBCA’s upcoming annual meeting.

RBCA Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6:30-8:30PM

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

How equitable is Seattle right now? When developing the drafted Comprehensive Plan update, access to opportunity was considered in all areas of our city. Access to opportunity includes things that contribute to social, economic, and physical well-being. As is shown in the map below, the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood is identified as a neighborhood that has average to high access to opportunity.

Equity Analysis Seattle 2035

The May 3 committee meeting presentation indicates that the City’s equity goals include increasing opportunity in neighborhoods that are currently considered areas of low opportunity and increasing housing choices in neighborhoods currently considered areas of high opportunity.

A recent article in the Seattle Times reports that living in a low income community is among the aspects of poverty that are particularly damaging and can be addressed by public policy. In addition to addressing low family income and poor education, which are also among the aspects identified, local policy can impact where people live.

The roots of current equity disparities in our city may be found when reviewing local history that included severe segregation policies. For instance, from the 1910s through the 1960s, many Seattle neighborhoods, including Ravenna-Bryant, practiced overt racial exclusion through land use covenants. To this day, communities are still working to right the wrongs of the past and create equity throughout the city. Now that we are coming to terms with past policies that created segregation and contributed to poverty, and now that we can identify the factors contributing to continued poverty, we have the opportunity to establish new policies that can reduce disparities and increase equity in our city.

Speeding cars a common complaint among Ravenna-Bryant walkers, bikers, and drivers

speed limit 30Speeding cars and difficulties crossing arterial streets are common mobility complaints from Ravenna-Bryant community members no matter if they are walking, biking, or driving a motor vehicle, according to preliminary results from an RBCA survey.

Earlier this year, RBCA formed a Mobility Assessment Task Force to identify neighborhood mobility-related problems and develop an action plan for addressing them. The need to proactively address problems became evident when mobility-related problems consistently were brought up during community meetings related to land use, public safety, and most proposed changes in Ravenna-Bryant.

Among survey responses, the most common (52%) were about walking, 23% about driving, and 17% about biking. Crossing all arterial streets was the primary concern specifically because cars are often speeding and because cars are parked too close to corners making it difficult to see oncoming traffic. For pedestrians, cars often do not yield to them when they are crossing streets and crosswalk lights are slow to change at 20th Avenue NE and in front of Assumption-St. Bridget School.

Not surprisingly, problems related to NE 65th Street predominate survey results, no matter the mobility mode. Crossing NE 65th Street is particularly difficult when drivers use it as a four lane road. Pedestrians report getting stuck halfway across when cars in one direction stop and cars traveling in the other direction do not. The corner of NE 65th Street and 15th Avenue NE is identified as particularly dangerous for a variety of reasons. Considering the Roosevelt light rail station will open in 5 years just a few blocks from this intersection, safety problems are especially concerning.

tweet - greenways - 65th
April 29 tweet from NE Seattle Greenways about the unsafe intersection at NE 65th Street and 15th Avenue NE. At the corner to the east of where this photo was taken stands a ghost bike in memory of Andy Hulslander who was killed here while biking home from work.

Both drivers and bikers identify traffic congestion and speeding motor vehicle drivers as common concerns. While bikers identify a lack of bicycle safety infrastructure as a problem, drivers commonly identify backed up traffic behind left-turning cars and at traffic signals.

The Mobility Assessment Task Force will complete our work this summer. The next meeting will be held in June with the date yet to be determined. If you are interested in being a part of the task force or RBCA’s Transportation Committee, please contact us.

Housing Levy to be on August ballot: Learn more May 17 at RBCA’s annual meeting

BrettlerFamilyPlaceLarger
Brettler Family Place at Sand Point Naval Station was built in part with Seattle Housing Levy funds. The current levy expires at the end of the year.

The Seattle City Council yesterday unanimously voted to include a $290 million Housing Levy on the August 2, 2016 Primary Election ballot. The levy proposal focuses on increasing affordable housing production and preservation, supporting homelessness prevention, and fostering home ownership for low-income residents.

The levy is part of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) which will be the focus of RBCA’s upcoming annual meeting. Join us and learn more about the levy and other HALA policy proposals.

 

RBCA Annual Meeting

Focus: HALA

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6:30-8:30PM

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

More housing & businesses along NE 65th Street?

Most Ravenna-Bryant residents are comfortable with more development along NE 65th Street, according to a 2013 survey conducted by RBCA. Will the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) set the stage for increased development on NE 65th Street? Attend the RBCA’s annual meeting and find out.

RBCA Annual Meeting

Topic: HALA

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

More about that survey . . .

Of the 610 residents who took the survey,  most agreed that traffic congestion is their biggest concern.  People also agreed that the community needs better pedestrian and bike safety features; to work with developers to ensure neighborhood-friendly development; and ensure parking spaces are included with property development.  Many people who reported being comfortable with more development stated that they want to discourage automobile usage while people who reported not being comfortable with more development were more likely to be concerned with the loss of parking.

The biggest concerns among the 64% of Ravenna-Bryant residents who indicated that they are comfortable with more development were:

  1. Traffic/congestion*
  2. Pedestrian and bike safety
  3. Driving should not be encouraged.
  • Need to cater to modes of transportation other than cars
  • Limit parking so people will choose other modes of getting around.
  • Need for bike lanes/walking amenities/better streetscape
  1. Need for better transit
  2. Ugly, cheap apartments/development/businesses/townhomes
  3. Parking should be included with development, parking on side streets
  4. Buildings shouldn’t be too tall
  5. Businesses need to cater to neighborhood residents
  6. Property value
  7. Density/crowding
  8. Noise
  9. Crime/vandalism
  10. More retail needed, reduce vacant businesses, keep retail west of 25th and east of 20th
  11. Transit/bike/pedestrian safety around light rail station
  12. Bike lanes inappropriately placed
  13. Losing “hole in the wall” charm of some buildings
  14. Increased rent
  15. Decreased livability
  16. Prevent removal of trees

The biggest concerns among the 29% who said they are not comfortable with more development along NE 65th Street were:

  1. Traffic/congestion
  2. Increased crime
  3. Adding to already over-crowded schools
  4. Loss of parking
  5. Pedestrian and bike safety
  • especially with increased congestion
  • especially for students in neighborhood schools
  1. Lack of appropriate planning
  • “City does not listen to neighbors or neighborhood.”
  • “I don’t want Ravenna Bryant to become condo-ville like Ballard.”
  • Lack of green space
  1. Increased density
  2. Bike lanes should not be developed on NE 65th Street
  3. Noise
  4. Need for increased police, fire, bus and other services
  5. Property values
  6. Eliminating single family houses
  7. Increased rental costs
  8. Undesirable businesses

*Italicized answers indicate issues of common concern  among those in favor of more development and those not in favor of more development.

May 17 RBCA Annual Meeting to focus on HALA

Yesterday, Mayor Ed Murray unveiled his proposal to enact a residential Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA-R) program which will require that new multifamily residential development in Seattle contribute to affordable housing, either with affordable homes in the building or payments to help construct them throughout the city.

MHA map
Map of Mayor’s proposed Affordable Housing Program Areas included in his Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA)

This map shows the areas in north Seattle to which the program could apply, including the area around University Village and NE 55th Street. (See our previous post about NE 55th Street for information about how it is zoned.)

Additional information about MHA-R is included in a Director’s Report and the full text of the proposed ordinance.

HALA contains many policy proposals, including MHA-R. Community members are invited to learn more about HALA and other land use issues affecting Ravenna-Bryant during our upcoming annual meeting. City staff will be on hand to discuss HALA policies and answer your questions.

 

RBCA Annual Meeting

Topic: The Mayor’s Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

Prevent burglaries: Lock windows when not at home

As we start opening our windows to take in the warm weather, it’s time to think about preventing burglaries by securing windows when not home. Here are some tips from the Seattle Police Department:

Windows are a primary point of entry used by burglars.  Without question, window security is a must.  In terms of security, windows pose the greatest problem.  Windows are left unlocked and open more often than doors.  An open window, visible from the street or alley, may be the sole reason for your home to be selected by a burglar.  The best window security advice is this: anytime you are away from home, close and lock your windows.

• Ground floor windows are more susceptible to break-ins and should be given priority for security improvements.

• Upper floor windows become attractive if they can be accessed from a stairway, tree, fence, ladder, or by climbing on balconies.

• Windows have latches, not locks, and therefore should have secondary blocking devices to prevent sliding them open from the outside.

• Windows that are painted shut do not keep burglars out.  Burglars often pry these open.

• Keep expensive equipment and items away from your windows.

• Use curtains or blinds over any windows or doors that are easy to see into.

For a detailed flyer from SPD about window security, please leave a message on our Contact Us page.

As rents climb, can Ravenna-Bryant be diverse & welcoming?

d1d07395-8df8-7101-8b99-a91558799b14
An older apartment building on NE 55th Street. This stretch of NE 55th Street is currently zoned Neighborhood Commercial and can include buildings up to 4 stories.

Rents in the area south of NE 65th Street in Ravenna-Bryant increased 10-14% between 2014-2015 according to a recent Seattle Times article. Rents in the neighboring University District rose by more than 16% in the same time period.

The article notes that communities like the U-District and parts of Ravenna-Bryant are desirable because of their density which tends to mean that there are amenities like restaurants and easily accessible transit. With the UW light rail station opening last month, and with the Roosevelt light rail station opening in 5 years, the area will become even more desirable.

As Ravenna-Bryant becomes a more desirable place to live,

Ravenna Present (Bryant Heights)
Rendering of new apartments being built on NE 65th Street.

rents will continue to increase, pricing many people out of our community. The RBCA board recently adopted a vision statement that puts in words what we want our community to be like in 10-20 years. “Welcoming” and “diverse” are two adjectives the RBCA board chose to include in our vision statement. If rents continue to increase as they have in the past few years, Ravenna-Bryant may not be very economically diverse nor welcoming to all.

 

To address these issues throughout Seattle, the Mayor released a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, commonly known as HALA. HALA contains multiple policies with the common goal of increasing affordable housing options throughout Seattle and, at the same time, maintaining and creating a livable city.

The RBCA’s annual meeting this year will focus on HALA. The meeting is open to all community members who want to learn more about the policies contained in HALA.

RBCA Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

Agenda

  • Open House – Learn about HALA and get your questions answered one-on-one with city staff members.
  • RBCA Business: Electing 2016-17 board members
  • HALA Panel Presentation
  • Public Q&A

RBCA board meets Tuesday

The Ravenna-Bryant Community Association will meet Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 p.m., at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Agenda items include:

  • Reports from standing committees including Land Use and Transportation
  • Presentation from neighbors south of NE 85th Street
  • Planning for the RBCA Annual Meeting on May 17
  • Reports from association community organizations

All board meetings are open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

Share your concerns about walking, biking, driving, and transit in Ravenna-Bryant

Neighborhood Greenways make it safe and easy for everyone to get around the cityThe Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA) board of directors recently adopted a vision to guide activities. The vision puts in words what we would like Ravenna-Bryant to be like in 10-20 years.

Vision: Ravenna-Bryant is a welcoming, thriving, safe, diverse, and connected neighborhood.

One of the elements that impacts if our community is welcoming, thriving, safe, diverse, and connected is how people who live and work here, and those who visit our community, get around. The environment for walkers, bikers, motor vehicle drivers, and transit users is important for the future of our community.

So that RBCA can plan for a safe and welcoming environment for all to get around our community, we are establishing a plan that identifies current problems, identifies solutions that have worked for similar problems, and includes an action plan for implementing and advocating for solutions.
bus4
We are currently collecting information about specific problems in the Ravenna-Bryant community. (Please refer to the RBCA map to determine if a problem is located within our neighborhood.) We have collected information from previous surveys conducted by RBCA and the City of Seattle, through community and RBCA board meetings, and from our neighbors. We are now reaching out for more input.

Please click here to take the survey by April 30, 2016. You may take the survey as many times as needed.

Some problems already identified:
  • Unsafe walking and biking all around University Village. Unsafe connection for bicyclists between neighborhood streets and Burke-Gilman Trail. Some areas don’t have sidewalks or sidewalks in poor condition.
  • Unsafe pedestrian crossing at un-marked crosswalks along NE 55th, NE 65th, and NE 75th Streets.
  • Unsafe pedestrian crossing at un-marked crosswalks along 25th Avenue NE.
  • Unsafe pedestrian environments on some neighborhood streets because of speeding cars.
  • Insufficient car parking on 35th Avenue NE on weekends. Few places for bikes to park.
  • Motor vehicle traffic on NE 65th Street during rush hour.
  • Cars backed up at major intersections with no left-turn traffic signals.
  • Insufficient car parking around Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center when events in progress.
  • Unsafe bicycle environment along NE 65th Street, especially at 15th Avenue NE.
  • Unsafe bicycle environment along 35th Avenue NE.
  • Cars park too close to crosswalks/corners making it difficult for pedestrians, bikers, and motor vehicle drivers to safely cross street, especially along 35th Avenue NE.
  • No sidewalks along NE 85th Street.

Preventing car prowls & thefts in secured parking garages

Seattle Police Department crime trend data show a significant increase in the number of burglaries that take place in secure parking garages in apartments and condominiums.

SeaStatJan2016According to SPD, in the majority of these crimes, burglars did not need to force their way into the garage but piggybacked in through the pedestrian door or followed a car into the garage. In addition to prowling cars, bicycles and storage unites are also targeted.

Here are some tips for preventing these types of crimes.

  • Secure garages are only secure if entering and exiting drivers watch the door fully close behind them every time.
  • Before entering or exiting a garage, look around to determine if anyone is hanging out near the entrance. Pay attention to them and let them know they’ve been seen.
  • Remote controls for secure garages should never be left inside parked cars. They provide future access to returning thieves.
  • Remove all valuables from your vehicle every time you park.
  • Disable internal trunk releases per your owner’s manual instructions.
  • Audible alarms or other theft deterrent devices can be effective.
  • Invest in heavy-duty locks for your storage unit and/or bicycle. Burglars often bring bolt cutters.
  • Share information about incidents and suspicious activities with your neighbors.
  • Report all crimes and suspicious activities to 911 immediately.

RBCA board meets Tuesday

Meeting Notice:

RBCA Board Meeting

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

6:30-8:30PM — please note the new start time in 2016!

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

Agenda

  1. Committee Reports including Land Use Committee and Transportation Committee
  2. Annual meeting planning
  3. NE 65th Street Business Survey
  4. 2016 RBCA Workplan
  5. Emergency preparedness
  6. Reports from associated community organizations

All RBCA meetings are open to all community members. Please join us!

City Asking for HALA Focus Groups Applications from Ravenna-Bryant

The City still needs applications for their  Housing and Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) focus groups.  The deadline is today, February 26th but, due to a lack of applications from our area, has been extended until Monday February 29th for folks in Ravenna-Bryant .

There are 65 HALA recommendations but some of the ones that might be of interest to folks in Ravenna-Bryant are:

  • Anything that is currently zoned lowrise or commercial in our neighborhood could be upzoned.  Single family zones are not being considered for an upzone unless they’re in an Urban Village or Center, but proposed policy changes for Accesory Dwelling Units (ADUs or “mother-in-laws”) and Detached Accesory Dwelling Units (DADUs or “backyard cottages”) could change the single family neighborhoods in Seattle.  Learn more about how Ravenna-Bryant is currently zoned through these two blog posts about 35th Avenue and “Downtown Ravenna” or just look at our RBCA map.
  • Urban Villages like Roosevelt would see even more growth.  Currently, a dotted line for the Urban Village Boundary for Roosevelt comes into the single family neighborhood east of 15th Avenue NE; this has the potential to upzone some single family homes east of Roosevelt High School.  We wrote a blog post about that here.
  • An expanded, perhaps doubled, housing levy could go to ballot next year.
  • Read about all 65 recommendations here.  Yes, it’s 76 pages!

Do you have interest in being part of this discussion?  The focus groups are facilitated not by the City but by a third party.  Some land use knowledge is helpful, but not required.  The focus groups meet through the end of 2016.

Big Changes Coming for South Ravenna-Bryant

BGT_viewThe second Design Review Board meeting for the new project on Union Bay Place is tonight (February 22) at 6:30 at University Heights.  This project is across from Tully’s at “Five Corners” and buttresses the Burke Gilman Trail; however, due to slope issues, the project will not be connected to the Burke.

Just East on the Burke Gilman Trail, the new restaurants in the former Bill the Butcher site have opened.  This site was considered as a bike hotel, but people in Laurelhurst were concerned about the lack of parking for such a project.  The Laurelhurst Community Association Blog has written a post about the new restaurants and now appear to be content with having more options for eating out near their neighborhood.

With the opening of the new Light Rail station at Husky Stadium opening on March 19th, this portion of Ravenna-Bryant will surely see a lot of new development.

RBCA Board meets Tuesday

The February Ravenna-Bryant Community Association board meeting will take place Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., at the Ravenna Eckstein Community Center. Please note that in 2016 meetings will start at 6:30, not 7:00 p.m.

In addition to Land Use Committee and Transportation Committee updates, the agenda includes a discussion with Councilmember Rob Johnson and updates to the workplan for 2016.

All RBCA meetings are open to the public – please join us!

Getting to UW Link light rail station from Ravenna-Bryant

Today, Sound Transit announced that the University of Washington Link light rail station at Husky Stadium will open on March 19, 2016.

Since the station is just two miles from Bryant Elementary School and less than that from some parts of the Bryant neighborhood, many of our neighbors will be using this station to get to Capitol Hill, Downtown, and points south. This is especially true for neighbors who bike, considering Ravenna-Bryant’s easy access to the Burke-Gilman Trail, or ride the bus.

Over at the University of Washington’s Transportation Services blog, they’ve been posting information about light rail and how UW employees and students can take advantage of it. Some of this information can be equally useful for Ravenna-Bryant community members who will access light rail at UW Station.

4 things to know about bicycles and Link light rail

What University Link light rail means for bus riders

ulink-aerial - bus links
Bus routes serving UW Link light rail station. Photo courtesy of University of Washington Transportation Services.

For more information about buses that will take you to UW Station, visit Metro’s website.

Are More ADUs and DADUs coming to RBCA?

This Tuesday, January 26th, from 5-7 p.m. at City Hall Mayor Murray and department directors will launch their conversation on the implementation of HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda).

The HALA Report, which consists of 65 recommendations made by a 28 member committee, identified ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) and DADUs (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units) as a way to create more housing in single-family areas in Seattle.  Last Tuesday, January 19th at the Filipino Community Center, about 100 people gathered to hear former Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee Chair Councilmember Mike O’Brien and Nick Welch from the Office of Planning and Community Development discuss policy changes that would encourage more homeowners to construct ADUs and DADUs.  (District 4’s Rob Johnson is the current Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee Chair Councilmember.)

According to Mr. Welch, the City of Seattle currently has just over 1000 permitted ADUs and 220 permitted DADUs.  There were 6 policy changes on which attendees were asked to comment and vote.  Based on public comments and the votes on the 6 poster boards, the majority of people at the Filipino Community Center last week were in favor of all of the changes below.

1)Should we remove the off street parking requirement?

2) Should we allow an ADU and a DADU on the same lot?

3)Should we remove the owner-occupancy requirement?

4) Should we modify development standards for backyard cottages?

5) Should we increase the height limit for certain lots?

6) Should we modify the rear yard coverage limit?

The next ADU/DADU meeting is Wednesday February 3rd at Wallingford Senior Center 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North from 6-7:30 p.m.  You will get to vote on which, if any, of these recommendations should be implemented.

While the HALA recommendations are being rolled out, the City is also considering expanding Urban Village boundaries for the new 2035 Comprehensive Plan.  You can also educate yourself on how the two plans overlap on the City’s website and this timeline.

 

 

City Council considering marijuana business zoning changes

On Monday, the Seattle City Council will discuss proposed changes to marijuana zoning rules in our city. Last month, the City Council Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee approved the proposal. Publicola reported on the committee’s debate regarding the impact of the policy on communities of color. 

The changes, proposed by Mayor Murray, would loosen restrictions on where marijuana retail stores may be located in Seattle. While a 1,000-foot buffer around playgrounds and schools would remain in effect, buffers around other places frequented by children, such as day care centers, libraries, community centers, transit centers, and arcades, would be reduced to 500 feet, approximately 1-2 city blocks. (Marijuana industry representatives are asking for the buffer to be reduced further.) The new rule would establish an additional 1,650 acres for retail locations. The proposal would also create a minimum distance of 500 feet between retail outlets but allow two pot shops to open next to one another.

What does that mean for Ravenna-Bryant?

With the proposal, the Mayor’s Office released
two maps: one showing the current zoning rules and possible locations for retail marijuana shops and one showing the additional areas that would be allowed under the proposed legislation. The map below shows the NE Seattle areas (in yellow) that would be appropriately zoned for marijuana stores under the proposal.

pot shops 2015
Red Circle = 500’/1,000′ buffer for existing marijuana retailers; Green Cross = 500’/1,000′ buffer for existing medical marijuana retailers; Green Area = Areas where retail marijuana is not allowed under licensing restrictions; Grey Area = Areas where retail marijuana is not allowed under zoning restrictions; Yellow Area = Estimated areas where retail marijuana would be allowed.

Under current rules, no marijuana businesses can open in Ravenna-Bryant because of buffer zone and land use rules. If this new legislation is passed, land around University Village, along NE 45th Street/Sand Point Way NE, and along NE 55th Street would be appropriately zoned for marijuana businesses. 

Why buffer zones?

Initiative 502, which established a legal commercial marijuana system, included a few provisions meant to take a public health approach to reducing underage exposure to marijuana.  Myriad research studies have shown that the number of stores selling tobacco and alcohol are related to the rates of underage use of those substances in a community. Though marijuana has not been legal long enough to conduct research to determine if marijuana business density is similarly related to underage use, I-502 included the buffer zone provision based on what is known for other substances.