EagleHerald Staff Writer

MENOMINEE—The Judicial and Legislative/Personnel and Labor Committee recommended to the City Council Wednesday that the council adopt a zoning ordinance pertaining to marijuana establishments, after some modifications were made to the ordinance by the committee.

Committee Chairman Bill Plemel said changes to the ordinance included removing the special use permit process for marijuana establishments that may open up in M-1, M-2 and C-1 zoned districts from the language of the ordinance, as the ordinance is written to allow marijuana establishments in those districts. “In other words, it’s a permitted use, so you don’t need a special use permit. Then in the C-2, which is across from City Hall in that little strip mall, they still need a special use permit for that,” he said.

Mayor Jean Stegeman said the zoning ordinance that was presented at the last City Council meeting kept references to the D-1 mixed use zoning district, which she said the Planning Commission had unanimously decided to remove from the city’s zoning master plan in previous meetings. Plemel said the JL/PL decided that marijuana establishments would not be allowed in D-1 zoned areas.

“The master plan has been in the hands of a group that has been working on it for three years. I’m not sure it’s going to stay the same way the committee reports it, but it doesn’t affect too many places; what used to be Van’s IGA, one or two other places I think are D-1, so it’s not going to be allowed there,” he said.

He said the attorney is currently re-writing the ordinance to include changes made by the committee, which will be presented at the next City Council meeting. If the council approves the ordinance, potential marijuana businesses would be able to open up a business in any of the areas zoned as M-1, M-2, or C-1. He said those starting growing businesses would be able to do so in the M-1 and M-2 districts, which would include areas such as the industrial park on the northern end of town and some industrial areas along 10th Street. “Any C-1 is where all the stores are now. It can be down on the Plaza, along 6th Avenue, almost anywhere in the C-1 district,” he said.

Plemel said there are other restrictions to placing a marijuana establishment that are written into the ordinance that are similar to the restrictions put on things like bars and taverns, such as distance requirements from schools and churches.

He also said anyone who wants to open a marijuana establishment in Menominee not only has to go through the city’s permitting process, but must also be licensed by the State of Michigan and go through the state licensing process.

The ordinance was recommended by the committee to the City Council and has not yet gone into effect. It will be discussed at the next City Council meeting.