PLEASANT PLAINS TOWNSHIP - The Pleasant Plains Township Board of Trustees approved a preliminary application for a new marijuana provisioning center at 8330 S. M-37 in Baldwin at its meeting Aug. 31.

The request will now go to the township planning commission for review and approval of a special land use permit for the project.

Care By Design, a division of CannaCraft, a cannabis company providing recreational and medical cannabis products manufactured in Sonoma County, California, has purchased the property with plans to establish a provisioning center for medical marijuana, and eventually add a recreational retail store and a grow facility.

"Care By Design has submitted an application packet for the property on M-37," Pleasant Plains Township supervisor Kevin Braddy said. "As a board we need to decide whether or not to send this on to the planning commission for their approval."

Planning Commission chairperson Su Eling said there would be meeting Sept. 23 to evaluate the special land use permit application and make a determination, if the board approved the application packet.

"Right now, they are just doing the provisioning center, because they cannot do a recreational retail store until they have a provisioning center," Eling said. "They own the entire acreage there, 25 acres, and they plan to do future expansion on the rest of the property."

The board approved a motion to send the package on to the planning commission for their recommendations on moving forward with the special land use approvals.

Another project still in the works is a request by business owner Chris Connally to establish a marijuana grow facility on property he has purchased in the rural forest district of the township.

Connally has been working with the planning commission for several months to get approvals for a special land use permit and a site plan for the facility.

At a meeting in July, the board of trustees rescinded Connally's application stating that although he met the requirements of the township's recreational marijuana ordinance, he did not meet the requirements of the zoning ordinance for the rural forest district.

"He has to have a minimum of 10 acres to have a stand alone out building on rural forest property," Eling said. "He has 2.9 acres. If he has a permanent residence on the property, he can have an outbuilding and do whatever he wants with it. He doesn't have enough acreage, that's what it comes down to."

Braddy said there are two options for Connally at this point -- buy a larger piece of property that he can build a stand alone structure on, or build a permanent residence and an accessory building for the grow facility.

The board approved a motion to have the township board send a letter informing Connally of his options for moving forward with the project.

In other business, Braddy informed the board that they have received a $50,000 grant from the USDA to purchase turnout gear for the fire department.

With delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving the equipment has been slow, but they are staring to get the supplies and get them out to the fire fighters and the trucks, he said.

Braddy gave recognition to Webber Township trustee Sandra Clarke, who was instrumental in helping them get the grant funding.

"We want to thank you for your help," Braddy said. "It was great working with you to get those grants. With the budgets of these small fire departments, most wouldn't survive without these grant funds."

In addition, the township has been given a collection box by the state for collecting voting ballots.

"They gave it to us to collect ballots, but it can be used for all township purposes," Braddy said.

The box will be secured in concrete at the front of the township hall building for the purpose of collecting ballots and tax payments.

Braddy reminded the board that the 2020 Census is coming to a close and asked the trustees to encouraged everyone to complete the questionnaire.

"Pleasant Plains Township has a 30% response rate so far," Braddy said. "This directly impacts our revenue sharing from the state and our ability to receive grants and other special funding for projects throughout the township. I encourage everyone to make sure they have their census submitted."

Notices will be posted on the township website. For information on how to complete the 2020 Census, visit pleasantplainstwp.com, or 2020census.gov.