Sterling Heights Duo Receives Key Approval for Marijuana Facility in Lapeer

December 3rd, 2023 Business & Industry Ryan Spegal
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Sterling Heights residents Calvin Butrus and Fadi Syoufjy received approval from the Lapeer Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for a parking space variance on Monday. This decision is a crucial step in their plan to establish a marijuana cultivation facility at a site previously occupied by Lapeer Ultimate Linings on Imlay City Road. The property, zoned I-1 Industrial, currently hosts a 6,150 square foot building.

The variance was necessary due to city and state regulations that require marijuana grow facilities to have a minimum of 15 parking spaces. Butrus and Syoufjy sought a reduction of nine spaces, intending to provide only six at their facility, named Farmboyz. The duo, who will primarily run the business, plans to carpool, utilizing just one parking space. They do not anticipate hiring many employees or requiring extensive parking for deliveries.

Their request was backed by the city's planning consultant, who pointed out the unique limitations of the site, including a large right of way for Imlay City Road and a railroad right of way, which restricts expansion of parking areas. Despite efforts, the applicants were unable to secure a shared parking agreement with neighboring properties. Adjacent to the site are Taylor's Family Car Care, a vacant parcel, and a marijuana processing facility, formerly Ray C's Extreme Store.

Lapeer city has authorized six marijuana dispensaries but has not capped the number of licenses for marijuana cultivation, processing, and transportation within the community. In a related development, the Lapeer Planning Commission is set to review a site plan for an 11,480-square-foot organic medical marijuana facility on Genesee Street. This project, initially approved in November 2021, is positioned between Arnold's Car Wash and the Exclusive-brand marijuana dispensary, with two residential duplexes nearby. The applicant must seek an extension or re-submit a new site plan if substantial progress is not made within a year of the original site-plan approval.

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