Fennville Mayor Tom Pantelleria has reservations about now-legal recreational marijuana facilities opening on Main Street, he said on the local “Morning Grind” radio show March 14.
The Mayor sounded caution in advance of March 23 city planning commission hearings on two related downtown rezonings, reports Commercial Record correspondent Jim Hayden on his Bicycle Base Fennville blog, and also take public comments on Pantelleria’s proposal not to allow pot sales on East Main Street.
“Some might be offended by a marijuana dispensary on Main Street,” the mayor told WYVN talk show hosts Mike Johnson and Ken Whitcomb. Keeping facilities away from downtown means they are “out of sight, out of mind” for people who don’t like marijuana.
“Why add an element of risk, especially when we don’t know how people will react to this?” Pantelleria said.
The city commission, of which Hayden is a member, gave final approval Feb. 3 for recreational marijuana facilities.
Locally, Douglas city and Saugatuck township have also allowed such uses, in addition to medical marijuana facilities previously permitted. All are subject to state and local licensing and conditions.
In Fennville, marijuana establishments are classified as grower, processor, microbusiness, retailer, safety compliance establishment and secure transporter. The ordinance allows two of each in the city
The businesses can be located in existing agricultural, industrial or business zones but not in residential zones. Operations cannot be within 1,000 feet of Fennville Public Schools, meaning recreational marijuana sites would be generally limited to the east and south sides of the city.
Some agricultural land on the southwest side of the city would be available for such facilities.
Consumption and/or use of marijuana is prohibited at any such establishment. Each person who applies for a license from the city must complete a detailed application and pay $5,000.
The Monday, March 23, planning commission meeting in city hall, 125 S. Maple St., starting at 6:30 p.m. will include two public hearings.
- Patricia Dewenter of Wyoming has petitioned to rezone the old city hall at 222 S. Maple St. from OS-1 Office Service District to B-2 General Business District.
Dewenter offered $282,000 to buy the old city hall from the city and plans to use it to sell recreational marijuana. The purchase is contingent on rezoning the property from office to retail.
- The planning commission will also take public comments on Pantelleria’s proposal to prohibit recreational marijuana sales in the Central Business District on East Main Street.
Marijuana facilities will be a destination for shoppers who will already be looking for them, he said, so they don’t need the exposure of Main Street traffic.
If the planning commission approves the ban, the proposal would go to the city commission for action. There, it would face an uncertain future. Several commissioners have said they oppose the limitations, wrote Hayden.
Supporting documents may be available at Fennville.com under “Government” then “Agendas & Minutes.”