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Coldwater city officials would like to hold a planning commission hearing April 20 on a final ordinance to zone marijuana-related businesses and end its moratorium. The measure then would go to the city council. 

At 5:30 p.m., the planning commission will review proposals for retail sales for recreational marijuana around the I-69 corridor with growing and processing facilities in industrial areas. 

In January, the commission reviewed an ordinance that would require special use permits and allow businesses only in the D-2 heavy industrial districts. 

It follows state law and requires a 1,000-foot setback from preschools and schools, but also adds a 500-foot setback from all residential zone properties and 1,000 feet for other businesses. 

City council member Emily Rissman presented a survey that suggested residents want sales in a more populated areas away from remote industrial areas. Several at the hearing urged sales in around I-69. 

Planner Dean Walrack looked at the C-4 districts around the U.S. 12 I-69 interchange. 

Walrack presented zoning with a 1,000-foot buffer between retail marijuana establishments.

“It resulted in a maximum seven licenses for the I-69 area,” he said. “But likely, it would be fewer than that.”

Walrack also noted only the 1,000-foot buffer from schools is required while the residential and competing license buffer suggested by the planner are not required.

Commissioner and city council member Mike Beckwith said possible sites would shift when a location is licensed because of setbacks. 

Walrack said a reduction to a 750-foot buffer between licenses results in 10 license locations and a 500-foot buffer results in 14 license locations near I-69.

Commissioner Jessika Cole suggested the maximum restriction.

“If we don’t have problems, we could ease it,” Cole said.

Some city council members have suggested privately the city might want to look at the downtown business center, which the city is redeveloping. 

Commissioner are expected to vote Monday on a final draft for the April hearing. 

The planning commission could vote not to have an ordinance, but the city council has asked for one. The council took the action because city voters, by 52% to 48%, approved the statewide measure.  

Under the state law, a small number of voters could force a citywide referendum if the city turns down licensing. 

 

 

 

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