City attorney says petition to remove Richland's pot store moratorium is not valid


    <p>According to the group Legalize Richland, they received a letter from Richland City Attorney Heather Kintzley, which said their initiative was not legally valid.{/p}<p>{/p}

    It's been almost a month since the group Legalize Richland turned in signatures for a petition to repeal Richland's moratorium on pot stores.

    Now they might take it to court.

    According to the group’s leaders, they received a letter from Richland City Attorney Heather Kintzley, which said the initiative was not legally valid.

    The petition was originally expected to be discussed at the Richland City Council meeting on Dec. 4. However, it's not on the agenda.

    The petition received more than 4,500 signatures on the petition. Of that number, more than 2,700 were validated.

    In the letter, Kintzley says she recommended to the City Council for the petition not to proceed because Washington state law gives zoning power to the council.

    Legalize Richland chairman Andrue Ott says despite the petition not being on the agenda, that won't stop them from going to the city meeting.

    “We're still planning to show up. Still encouraging anybody who supports this initiative and kind of the progression of democracy, so to speak, the opportunity to engage with our local government, to kind of come out and voice that."

    Ott says the group could consider legal action based on the city council's response and feels confident a judge would side in their favor.

    Action News called the city attorney's office multiple times over the span of two weeks, but have not heard back.

    The Richland City Council’s next regular meeting takes place Tuesday at 7:30 PM in the Richland City Council chambers in city hall.

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