Marine City Nears Decision on Marijuana Facility Locations with Reduced Setbacks

January 25th, 2024 Legislation & Policy Updates
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On January 18th, the Marine City Commission revisited discussions concerning the city's ordinance to license and regulate adult-use marijuana facilities. This followed the approval of the ordinance's first reading in the fall, which proposed a 1,000-foot setback from residential areas, churches, rehabilitation centers, childcare facilities, and schools.

However, during the October 19th, 2023, meeting, the second reading was postponed due to unavailability of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps from the county. City Manager Scott Adkins highlighted issues with the 1,000-foot setback, as it left no viable locations for marijuana facilities. Subsequent maps with 750-foot setbacks also did not yield additional property options, leading to the exploration of 500-foot setbacks.

The revised map, showcasing 500-foot setbacks, identified two potential locations for marijuana facilities—one near King Road and West Boulevard, and another by South Parker Street and Thompson Drive. Adkins emphasized that the decision to work with the 500-foot setbacks rests with the commission, and that the ordinance language could be modified accordingly.

During the discussions, Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Hendrick pointed out discrepancies in the zoning of certain areas on the map, noting a mix of industrial and residential designations. Commissioner William Klaassen inquired about the possibility of areas within the original 1,000-foot setbacks. Adkins clarified that although some zones were thought viable, they were disqualified due to their residential usage.

Commissioner Brian Ross raised concerns about the lack of parcels fully within the permissible area, considering the setbacks. Adkins mentioned that lot splits or subdivisions might be necessary, with the ordinance and map being updated to reflect such changes.

City Attorney Robert Davis elaborated on the application process for marijuana facilities, highlighting the need for comprehensive plans covering odor, lighting, security, and other operational aspects. He also stressed the importance of compliance with state regulations and detailed site planning requirements.

The commission, acknowledging potential changes in property usage and sales, discussed the need for updating the map as necessary. Davis noted that each application would require a review of the buffer zones.

Concluding the session, Hendrick moved to bring the ordinance back for a second reading with the 500-foot setbacks. The motion was approved with a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Klaassen dissenting.

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