Lapeer Community Submits Petition Against Cannabis Facility Odors

May 8th, 2024 Legislation & Policy Updates
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Residents of Lapeer, Michigan, are expressing growing concern over the pervasive smell of cannabis emanating from a local grow facility. At a recent Lapeer City Commission meeting, former judge Mike Higgins, now a resident of Andrews River Estates, voiced these concerns on behalf of his neighborhood. Higgins, along with 46 other residents, submitted a petition urging the city to take action against the ongoing odor issue, which they believe diminishes their quality of life.

The petition highlights the residents' frustration, stating, "Whereas we want to stop the pollution and odor coming from the cannabis growing and production facilities in the area, and whereas this pollution has been ongoing for months without a specific remedy in place; and whereas we believe this pollution is a nuisance under the city cannabis licensing ordinance and interferes with lawful use and enjoyment of our property." It demands that growers and producers submit and implement a plan to eliminate the odor as a condition of maintaining their licenses.

Lapeer attorney Tim Denney and resident Bryan Cloutier also spoke at the meeting, emphasizing the need for better planning, zoning, and code enforcement to manage the cannabis industry effectively. Cloutier criticized the current approach, suggesting that more strategic planning could have prevented these issues.

In response, Lapeer City Manager Mike Womack acknowledged the community's concerns, which he shared, noting that a six-month moratorium on new cannabis businesses had already been enacted to allow time to review and strengthen city policies and ordinances.

The meeting also addressed other civic matters, including pedestrian safety and beautification initiatives proposed by residents Boris and his wife, who suggested implementing "traffic calming" measures such as painted intersection murals and curb extensions. Mindy Schwab from the Lapeer Main Street Downtown Development Authority updated on activities and upcoming events, emphasizing efforts to enhance downtown Lapeer's appeal and accessibility.

Moreover, the City Commission approved several motions, including a lease agreement for a historic pavilion, a special event request from Lapeer Community Schools, and road repairs at Mt. Hope Cemetery. These approvals underline the commission's ongoing commitment to improving city infrastructure and community life.

This episode illustrates the complexities of local governance, where civic improvements and industrial growth must be balanced with the preservation of residents' quality of life.

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