Due to legalities, it appears West Richland residents might be stuck with a pot store virtually next to a preschool, close to bus stops, and in the middle of a residential area.

As we reported earlier, The Garden LLC is a proposed pot store that was allowed by the Liquor Control Board to change it's proposed location from Prosser to a small "donut hole" in West Richland.

The Garden is going to be located on Arena Road, on a small tract of land that's unincorporated by  the city. It's in the county, and unlike West Richland, Kennewick, and Richland, there's no county ban on pot business. It's literally surrounded by the rest of the city.

Area residents area furious about the lack of communication over the issue. According to the Tri-City Herald, one resident who lives across from the build site didn't know it was going in until construction crews began working the lot.

The Liquor Control Board says The Garden met all their criteria for being legal, and the Board said they notified Benton County, who said they didn't have an issue with it.

However, the store is very close, well within the state limit of 1,000 feet, to the Kids Space Preschool and Early Learning Center. But because that facility isn't state licensed, that law doesn't apply.  The 1,000 foot barrier only applies to public or licensed educational facilities.

The shop would be 151 feet away from the Center, which is marked in our photo.

Neighbors say they're worried about congestion, traffic and safety. They point to the Finley area shop Green 2 Go, which is located on Highway 397 and Bowles Road, and the heavy traffic that's materialized since it opened. They don't want the same issue in West Richland. There are bus stops nearby as well.

It appears, according to opponents, the desire for a business owner to profit from pot, and lack of oversight and consideration by county officials, have resulted in a business being located in a place where nobody wants them at all.

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