Special use permits first step for proposed marijuana businesses

The Planning Commission held 10 public hearings last week regarding special use permits for proposed marijuana businesses. All of the applicants are located in the Marijuana Sales Overlay district, which is outlined in yellow. (Courtesy Map)

MANISTEE — The City of Manistee Planning Commission recently held 10 public hearings on Thursday regarding multiple special use permit applications received from proposed marijuana businesses in Manistee.

All of the properties are located within the Marijuana Sales Overlay district on Arthur Street. In total, Kyle Storey, City of Manistee zoning administrator, said there are 20 parcels of land in the district.

“Out of the 20 or so parcels (in the district) around half have been presented upon in the last meeting,” Storey said.

Thursday’s meeting lasted around four hours, while commissioners were able to hear from members of the public and the proposed business owners. Decisions on the permits were tabled until the next regular meeting on Sept. 5, Storey said. In addition, a work session will be held at 7 p.m. on Aug. 29 in the council chambers at City Hall, which will feature a discussion on the U.S. 31 corridor plan.

“We got through all 10 of the applications that submitted in the right amount of time to be at that meeting,” Storey said. “Everyone gave a presentation and the Planning Commission asked them questions.”

However, this is only phase one of a two step process for the applicants. The next step, Storey said, is for the businesses to either get approved or denied by the commission for a special use permit. After that, businesses will face part two of the process through the City of Manistee.

A state license is also required before a business can operate.

“There’s still a long way to go for these applicants,” Storey said. “The city will go through all of their business plans and background checks, and all of that. Just because an applicant is granted a special use permit does not mean that they will be granted a marijuana permit — that’s a separate process.”

There is no limit as to how many special use permits could be approved, Storey said.

“The main things that we are advocating for are closing curb-cuts that are excessive, and that area has a lot of impervious surfaces that we would like to see more rain gardens, native plants or green spaces to alleviate some water run off,” he said. “Also, eliminating some blight, canopies and things like that. A lot of the applicants have kind of geared their plans around that.

“This is the chance to transition that whole district to something more commercially viable, or aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly — it’s exciting.”

Currently, there are no further details available on proposed business plans, but more information will be revealed in the future as the process moves forward.

“When an applicant gets their special use permit, and only when they get their special use permit, then they can come to the city and request an application to either grow, sell process, secure transport, any of the appropriate licenses,” said city manager Thad Taylor, in a recent interview. “Then they can get an application, give us $5,000. An application is very extensive, because we want to make sure the right people are involved in the industry in the community. They have to fill it out, and then return it to us. We have 21 days to review it, to say we’re satisfied it’s a complete document or no we’re not satisfied.”

The following public hearings were held on Thursday:

• Fresh Coast Provisioning LLC: 28 Arthur St.;

• Fresh Coast Provisioning LLC: 32 Arthur St.;

• Arthur Street Exchange LLC: 50 Arthur St.;

• Lake Effect LLC: 74 Arthur St.;

• First Property Holdings LLC; 214 Arthur St.;

• Urban Roots Detroit LLC: 24 Arthur St.;

• DCCA LLC: 34 Arthur St.;

• GR Bud LLC: 48 Arthur St;

• Michigan Provisioning Center LLC: 52 Arthur St.; and

• DNVK 3 LLC: 64 Arthur St.

All of the site plans are available on the City of Manistee’s website at www.manisteemi.gov.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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