Clare approves marijuana ordinance

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

The Clare City Commission very nearly invalidated their Master Plan’s Future Land Use Map in a vote at Monday’s meeting, when there was a 3-2 first vote against a zoning change, with Commissioner Bob Bonham, Mayor Pro-tem Jean McConnell and Mayor Pat Humphrey voted against it.

The second reading and adoption of the zoning change from Commercial to Industrial on 6.34 acres of property adjacent to Industrial Drive and just west of the Dollar Daze store is slated for a $2.5 million growing facility, processing facility and provisioning center for medical marijuana. The request for a zoning change came from Attorney Jordan Rassam, representing Rashid Wags of Lincoln Park and the matter raised some controversy at the October 16 meeting.

Rassam said then that they are “not interested in bringing a dispensary or retail facility to the Industrial Park.”

After the first vote, City Manager Ken Hibl told the board he would have to give a reason why this zoning change was denied and a first one approved. He also said it would mean the Future Land Use Map developed by the Planning Commission would have to be redone. “I am not telling you how to vote on this matter,” he told the board, “but I am asking if you want the Planning Commission to start over on the Master Plan.”

Humphrey later changed his vote to yes, saying he thought the vote was concerning an amendment to the Solid Waste ordinance, which was the next item on the agenda. An amendment to the first vote was approved and a second vote on the zoning change passed 3-2 with Bonham and McConnell voting no.

With the approval of a special use permit, this will be the second medical marijuana facility in the City. Last May the Clare Planning Commission approved a special use application for a medical marijuana grow facility in the South Industrial Park.

Shortly after that the City Commission approved 3-2, again with Bonham and McConnell voting no, the adoption of an addition to the City’s Ordinance Code governing and regulating medical marijuana, which had been drafted by City Attorney Jaynie Hoerauf.

In his agenda report Hibl said, “This ordinance was drafted and recommended for approval by the Clare City Attorney as an umbrella ordinance regarding the control and licensing of medical marihuana facilities within the City.”

The Commission approved unanimously a resolution to change the term length of City Commissioners to four years.

Hibl said off year election for the three-year terms “can be an unnecessary expense and oftentimes simply doesn’t make sense.” He said the cost to the city for the off-year election would be about $5,000 for the two commissioners’ unopposed reelection.

With the approval of the resolution, terms for all City Commissioners will be extended to four years.

A Public Hearing and vote to abandon one block of the right of way for Beech Street between First and Second Streets was approved, following some public concerns that the measure might land lock some property owners. The right of way for the street is adjacent to Johnston Elevator, and could be developed for their use, Hibl said. He said the City has no intent to develop or use the right of way.

Another Ordinance was approved amending the City’s solid residential waster ordinance to mandate that solid waste container not be placed curbside more than 24 hours before a scheduled pick-up and that they be retrieved within 24 hours of the pickup.

Other business at the City meeting Monday included:
*Pay applications for the Recreational Complex: Robbin Harsh Excavating for $88,720; and Murin Company for $34,466.35 were approved.

*A pay allocation for the Ann Arbor Rehabilitation Project from McGuirk Sand & Gravel for $140,931.78 was approved.

*Recognition was given to resigning board members: City Parks and Recreation 6-year board member Matt Miller and to City Downtown Development Authority and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority 10-year member Denny Sian.

*Board appointments approved included Christine Duhaime to the City’s Downtown Development Authority and Linda Guilliani to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Both were appointed for three-year terms.

*Approval was given to an Airport lot lease transfer from North Ten, LLC to Al Schiffer.

*The Commission approved the payment of bills totaling $353,810.42.

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