EagleHerald Staff Writer
MENOMINEE—The Menominee City Council last week discussed a proposed zoning ordinance pertaining to marijuana establishments. The ordinance that was presented was a draft ordinance.
After some discussion, the council sent the draft ordinance to the Judicial and Legislative/Personnel and Labor Committee for further deliberation.
“While reading this ordinance,” said Councilmember Doug Robinson, “for years I developed property and I sort of approached this from a different viewpoint than some, and I thought after you put money down on a building, you’ve got to go get a special use permit, but you’ve got a rubric that you have to score very high on. I’d hate to have a bunch of money, hypothetically, put down on a building on 1st Street and find out the special use permit isn’t issued because the DDA (Downtown Development Authority) doesn’t want my business down there and someone else takes my spot. It just doesn’t seem right.”
He asked if the city is able to write the ordinance to limit marijuana establishments to specific areas, such as the 10th Street/U.S. 41 corridor, knowing that there are some areas of town in which such businesses aren’t wanted. “That way a business or developer can come in on the same playing field as everybody else, because everybody else is limited to this area also, meaning they won’t pick a building that’ll put the neighborhood in an uproar and lose their special use permit. It would make it a lot clearer if we did it that way,” he said.
“We can create corridors,” said City Manager Tony Graff, “which we did do by the recommendation of the Planning Commission. The D-1 zoning is only for retail and recreational businesses, and that corridor is on 10th Street and Highway 41 north to 48th Avenue.”
Councilmember Dennis Klitzke agreed with Robinson, saying that clear boundaries need to be defined in the ordinance for the placement of these businesses. He also added that limitations on how close these businesses can be to residences should also be defined clearly in the ordinance. “I think this should be rethought a little bit,” he said.
“I think, at best, this zoning ordinance is a work in progress,” said Councilmember Frank Pohlmann. “I tried to listen in to the deliberation from the Planning Commission, and I have my doubts that they’ve concluded that they wanted to effectively convert the D-1 zoning into an area where marijuana businesses could be established.”