Clare approves ordinance to prohibit marijuana within city limits

November 9, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Following a second reading on the matter, Clare City Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance that will change the City codes allowing them to “opt out” of the provisions of Michigan Regulation & Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) and “prohibit the commercial sale of recreational marihuana within the boundaries of the City should Proposal 18-1 be passed by the voters” at Monday night’s regular meeting. “We can opt out of the proposal if it becomes law,” City Manager Ken Hibl said.

The proposal was approved by the voters Tuesday.

The City’s approval means they will not be eligible to receive 10 percent of the state taxes assessed in the growing processing and sale of recreational marihuana, and potentially the 3 percent tax for growing processing and sale of medical marihuana, Hibl reported.

In another matter, City Attorney Jaynie Hoerauf spoke during public comment to the Commission about the need to update the City’s zoning ordinances. She reported, “Places of worship need to be compared to, and treated the same, as other comparable uses…Essentially, you need to treat religious uses the same as other nonreligious assemblies and institutions.”

She said, “The object of RLUIPA (a law passed by Congress in 2000) is that it is designed to remove the burdens of local zoning from houses of worship…The law provides that city ordinances cannot impair religious freedoms with undue burdens.”

To comply, she said, “Places of worship need to be all treated the same…synagogues, mosques, temples and they include what we might call ‘ancillary’ uses such as a Shabbat house…Your ordinance cannot treat Christian churches more favorably than facilities for other religions, because it makes no provision for them.”
“I did not do a review of your Zoning Ordinance for violations,” she reported. “If you would like me to look at it, let me know.”

Other business at the Clare City meeting included:
*A request from Commissioner Jean McConnell that she be allowed to attend meetings remotely. Hoerauf said she would check on the legal status.

*Commissioners adopted a Local Pavement Warranty Program required by the Michigan Legislature that requires projects with pavement (asphalt) costs above $2 million meet guidelines and standards of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

*Approved the payment (from Depot funds) of $12,290.56 to Design Builders.

*Approved a Charitable Gaming License for fundraisers for the Clare Wrestling Club.

*Named Gus Murphy Chair and agreed to form a governing board for Clare’s Art Alley.

*Approved the 2019 Poverty Exemption Application and Income Levels.

*Approved a license for Fair Waste Services to provide solid waste services in the City.

*Approved Option 1 of the new Guaranteed Minimum Interest Rate (GMIR) after notification from Nationwide Investment Service of the change in funds that hold employees deferred income. The option reduced the rate to .50 percent over a five-year period.

*Approved the reappointment of Jeanne Shelander to the City’s Tree Advisory Group for three years; the reappointment of Cheryl Yesney to the Zoning Board of Appeals for three years; approved the reappointment of Gus Murphy to the Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) for three years; and approved Megan Jenkins to the Clare Downtown Development Authority to fill the seat of long-time member Al Iacco, who died recently.

*Went into closed session to discuss strategy for the upcoming Teamsters Contract negotiations.

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