2018-03-08 / Front Page

Medical marijuana plan on hold

810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

GAINES TOWNSHIP – Plans to convert a former church into a medical marijuana grow facility are on hold until at least May.

Citing incomplete information from developers, the township Planning Commission tabled a site plan review required for owners Oakfield Hills Partners of Grand Blanc to proceed with renovations at 10289 Seymour Road, previously Jerusalem Missionary Church.

At a Feb. 28 meeting, commissioners posed several questions to an attorney representing the developers, but were dissatisfied with the answers.

“What’s going to happen there?” asked Commissioner Lee Purdy. “What’s the procedure? What is the intended number of patients? Will there be a single caregiver?”

Under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008, each caregiver may grow up to 72 plants.

Attorney Robert S. Houth Jr. said Oakfield Hills Partners will follow state law, but he would not say how many caregivers would grow marijuana at the facility.

“We’re concerned,” said Purdy. “Why can’t you specify? We need specific information. Apparently, you feel we don’t need it. We think we do.”

Commission Chairman William Harris was equally concerned with the lack of details.

“I have a problem approving a plan without nailing down the specifics,” Harris said. “A blanket statement – that they will follow state regulations – doesn’t set well with me. I can say, from experience, if it’s not in writing, someone will try to expand on it, change it or make it fit their usage. We have several examples of that in the township now. We’re trying to do due diligence.”

Houth said he will prepare an amendment to the site plan application.

“I think that’s reasonable,” he said.

“At the very least,” said Harris, “we need to know the scope of what we’re dealing with. We’re asking for a site plan. A site plan has specifics.”

During a site plan review, the Planning Commission determines whether the proposed use adheres to township ordinances. Were the commission to find the plan in order, commissioners would recommend that the township Board of Trustees give final approval for work to proceed.

The Planning Commission will revisit the matter when they convene at 7:30 p.m. April 25 at the township hall.

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