Webber township irons out recreational marijuana ordinance
Public hearing set for July 6
BALDWIN -- The Webber Township planning commission continued to hammer out the details of an ordinance to regulate the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana at its meeting June 22.
The Webber Township Board of Trustees voted to opt out of recreational marijuana in November, with the condition that once all the necessary ordinances and licensing regulations were in place, they would opt back in.
Township Supervisor Ernie Wiggins said at the time that the majority of the residents of Webber Township were in favor of opting in to the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana.
The recreational marijuana ordinance will basically follow the medical marijuana ordinance, Webber Township Board liason Dan Cosair said.
Recreational marijuana facilities will be allowed on the west side of M-37, in the light industrial, commercial and limited commercial zoned areas, according to the ordinance.
"When comparing the recreational to the medical ordinance, anything that the state mandated is what we followed," Cosair said. "The state has a few regulations that are limiting. One is a distance of 1000 feet from a school, another is that a marijuana facility cannot be placed in the center of a residential area. Beyond that, we would need to apply any specifics that are unique to our area.
"One of the things that is unique to our area is that in the limited commercial zoned area, we are allowing provisioning centers and retail stores," he continued. "Since there are homes in the limited commercial area, do we want to set a buffer distances between homes and facilities?"
The ordinance sets a buffer of 500 feet from any school and public park or playground, but does not specifically address homes.
Planning commission chairperson Pi Medina suggested that since many of the homes were there before the area was zoned as light commercial, it would be wise to consider that the ordinance should say they need to be a certain distance from a home.
"In the medical ordinance, we do not have a set distance from homes, but we have an impact on neighboring properties provision that includes buffers, barriers, facility separations, and mitigation of annoying impact on surrounding properties," he added.
Following a brief discussion, commission members agreed that the ordinance would not set a specific buffer distance for a residential property, but would refer to the township zoning ordinance for special land use permits to determine what would be required for potential facilities on a case by case basis.
The ordinance was not adopted at the meeting. It will now be sent to the township attorney for final review.
There will be a public hearing on the ordinance at 6 p.m., July 6, at the Webber Township Hall, 2286 W. Springtime St., in Baldwin.
For information on how to view the proposed ordinance or to participate in the meeting, call (231) 745-3471, or visit webbertownship.org.