04-18-2019 Watervliet Township reviews Planning Commission’s medical marijuana ordinance; Road and

AND THEY’RE OFF! You’d never know it was a sunny but chilly 49 degrees at Saturday’s Annual Hartford Easter Egg Hunt last Saturday. Several hundred kids combed Ely Park for their share of over 5,500 eggs carefully filled with candy treats and coins by perennial sponsor, the Van Buren County Sportsman’s Club. Inset: (from the left) brothers, Simon and Huxley Tackett of Lawrence show off their collection of eggs including a couple of tie-dyed eggs 2-year old Simon was particularly proud of. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)

Watervliet Township reviews Planning Commission’s medical marijuana ordinance

By Annette Christie

The Watervliet Charter Township Board previewed and discussed the Planning Commission’s recommended medical marijuana ordinance at their April 15, 2019 meeting. This followed two public hearings, one for the Planning Commission and one for the Township Board. There were only three people in the audience and none of them felt the need to address the board.

Two written comments were read into the record, one in favor and one against the township allowing medical marijuana facilities in the township.

There was some question over the posting of the meetings but Attorney Jessica Fette told the officials that the public hearings scheduled were voluntary and thus there was no posting issue.

Clerk Patt Bambrick read the letter from Zoning Administrator Bob Lohr which stated that after conducting a special meeting with a public hearing on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend adoption of a medical marijuana facilities ordinance.

The ordinance provides regulations for the operations of medical marijuana facilities in the township. The ordinance allows for not more than six growers, not more than three processors, not more than four provisioning centers, and no limit on the number of safety compliance facilities and secure transporters.

A grow facility and a processor may co-locate at the same location. All growers and processors must be located within the industrial zoning district. All provisioning centers, safety compliance facilities, and secure transporters must be within the commercial zoning district. All of the facilities, no matter what kind, must obtain a special land use permit.

Provisioning centers must be located a minimum of 100 feet from residential zoning or an actual current residence and must be located a minimum of 500 feet from a school, playground, park, licensed day care center, or a place of worship. The ordinance provides for the process of applying to the township for such places of business.

The discussion with the township board was not in depth aside from Supervisor Dan Hutc