Ypsilanti Citizen News Sidetrack

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Ypsilanti Township considers marijuana ordinance

Cannibas, or marijuana, plants are shown growing. The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees is now considering a ordinance that would regulate where medical marijuana is legally grown and dispensed in the township. Photo by m_bartosch - freedigitalphotos.net

Cannibas, or marijuana, plants are shown growing. The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees is now considering a ordinance that would regulate where medical marijuana is legally grown and dispensed in the township.
Haabs

Trustees table issue; consider either business or industrial zoning

By Mark Tower
Apr. 22, 2010    ·    11:52 a.m.


Since voters in the state of Michigan passed a ballot measure in November 2008 legalizing medical marijuana, local governments have been grappling with how to regulate the newly legal industry on a local level.

Ypsilanti Township is no different, and its board of trustees conducted the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday that would regulate where marijuana dispensaries could operate.

Trustees decided to table the issue for the board's next meeting in May, hoping that will give them time to rework the language of the ordinance and to get more information about the new law and its implications.

The ordinance under consideration would zone medical marijuana dispensaries “I-C,” which would limit any new dispensaries in the township to areas already zoned “industrial and commercial.” The board did discuss a different suggestion from the planning commission, which would allow dispensaries to be opened in general commercial zones.

Township Supervisor Brenda Sumbo said some planning commissioners compared a dispensary to a pharmacy, arguing that a commercial district would fit such a business better than an industrial one.

Such a change would not be a good idea, according to Township Planning and Development Coordinator Joe Lawson, who said that, under state law, many dispensaries could also be marijuana growing operations, which would fit better in an industrial district.

Township Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe suggested allowing dispensaries without a growing operation to be allowed in general commercial districts, and limit those actually growing marijuana to industrial districts.

Several conditions are set in the proposed ordinance, including prohibiting dispensaries to be set up within 1,000 feet of another dispensary, a house of worship, a K-12 school, a child care organization, a public library or a residential district. Other restrictions include a ban on using marijuana on the premises, a ban on sale of drug paraphernalia to anyone other than patients and caregivers, an age limit of 18 unless the minor is accompanied by a parent or primary caregiver and a limit of 60 plants any one dispensary can grow at one time.

Trustee Mike Martin said he agreed with Lawson's suggestion to allow growing only to occur in industrially zoned districts, and said they should keep the restriction preventing smoking or using marijuana inside the dispensaries.

The state law allows each patient with a certified identification card to grow up to 12 marijuana plants and legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. Certified caregivers can also be designated to provide marijuana for up to five patients, for each of which they can possess up to 12 marijuana plants and 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. This means if a caregiver has five patients under their care, they could, under state law, possess 11 ounces of marijuana and grow 60 marijuana plants.

Police Services Administrator Mike Radzik said the loose nature of the state law could allow several caregivers to band together to grow and disperse even more plants, unless smaller governmental units pass ordinances like the one under consideration in Ypsilanti Township.

“The state law is very problematic for law enforcement,” Radzik said. While most controlled substances are dispensed by doctors and pharmacists, he said, the new state law allows anyone registered with the state as a patient or caregiver to use, grow, and dispense marijuana.

Township trustees voted unanimously to table consideration of the ordinance until their next meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. May 18 at the Ypsilanti Township Civic Center board room. All township meetings are open to the public and allow a time for public comment.

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Editor's note: The photo attached to this story was provided from freedigitalphotos.com



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