Skip to Content

School opposes proposed marijuana store N. of Bend


(Update: Hearing held, record stays open 30 days)

A Deschutes County hearings officer took testimony Tuesday night on a proposed marijuana retail shop north of Bend, the first under new rules for the unincorporated county, but not without some opposition from a nearby private school, the Three Sisters Adventist Christian School.

“I took pictures as I was leaving campus and was like, how much of this can you see,” said school teacher, Maurita Crew. “I was clear over by one parking lot and it was, ‘Oh there, oh there,’ and all the way across, it’s just visible because there is no buffer.”

If given the green light, the store, on the first floor of a retail building at Tumalo Place and Highway 97, would be the first to open in the county, outside city limits.

While no one came forward to testify in favor of the facility, 10 or more individuals spoke against it.

“Well, one of the things we are concerned about is because they cannot smoke there, at the dispensary, our school is so close that as they drive around looking for a place to smoke, it’s going to increase our traffic,” said Stephanie Brusett, parent of a child attending the school.

“We are going to have to end up putting up gates and more security around our school because of that or they are going to come over here to smoke, because it looks like a park,” she said.

Three Sisters Adventist Christian School sits just over 1,000 feet from the proposed retail marijuana store, and that distance likely will play a role in deciding whether the facility will be approved as proposed.

School Principal Jenny Neil said, “Our primary concern is obviously for the kids, and the influence it might have on them.”

“We’re not sure exactly what kind of advertising this store would have,” she said. “And it’s in such close proximity to their families, every day when they get off the (highway) to come into school, that would be right in their face, so obviously their influence on the school is very concerning to us.”

Since the proposal was made public, 13 emails and letters have been submitted in opposition to the marijuana store, most referring to the close proximity and lack of buffer between the building and the school.

At the hearing, neighbors said they have concerns about increased crime and worries about the clientele the marijuana shop could attract. Teachers and parents from the school said they are worried about driving the students by it every day.

The applicant, Kelly King, said he does not plan to use the second floor of the building, only the first floor. King meets the approved criteria, but that doesn’t ease the school’s concerns.

Opponents to the shop requested the record remain open and the applicant agreed to 30 days. This means that anyone for or against the shop can submit testimony for one month.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content