PORT ORCHARD — Terry Squires has run a licensed day care from her home since 1993 and she never imagined her business and her children would be looked upon differently from those in a licensed day care center until came a knock on her front door.
“I had a developer actually approach me and offered to buy my business,” Squires said.
That came as a surprise to Squires, so she began to research and found a marijuana grow operation was seeking to open up shop at an industrial park right up the street from her home-based day care.
She wasn’t too worried that it would actually happen because her home is just 933 feet from the industrial park, well within the 1,000-foot buffer required by law.
But to her surprise she learned the Liquor Control Board’s definition of da ycare center excluded home day cares in the buffer rule.
“The children in elementary schools, junior high, high schools, arcades, parks, child care centers are protected; licensed family home child care, as well as school age child cares, are not protected,” Squires said.
So far Squires say she hasn’t been able to get a straight answer as to why and she’s ready to fight to protect her children and those in other home-based day cares.
The new marijuana businesses that are approved by the state still must get a local business license, and local municipalities may be able to set their own rules that supersede the state’s.
Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes says if it’s up to him there will be no distinction between day care centers and the home-based counterparts.
“If it is our call, I would like to see us to say they’re treated the same. If it’s within 1000 feet, then we don’t permit it,” Matthes said.