Rezoning for Med Marijuana Postponed

At its Sept. 19, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council did not follow the recommendation of the city planning commission to deny a request for the rezoning of a property on State Street, so that it could be used as a medical marijuana dispensary. Instead, the council decided to postpone a decision for two weeks.

The owner of Treecity Health Collective, a dispensary at 1712 S. State, had requested that the city planning commission recommend that the location be rezoned from O (office) to C1 (local business). The owner had also asked that the area plan requirement for that location be waived.

However, at their Aug. 16, 2011 meeting, planning commissioners recommended denial of the requests, based on a staff recommendation, stating that C1 zoning is not consistent with adjacent zoning, land uses and the city’s master plan.

And at their  Sept. 19 meeting, councilmembers were hesitant to vote down the rezoning, and instead decided to delay their vote.

The Treecity Health Collective opened in 2010. This summer, the Ann Arbor city council approved amendments to the city’s zoning ordinances that prevent medical marijuana dispensaries from operating in office zoning districts – those changes were set to take effect on Aug. 22, 2011. Rather than relocate the dispensary, the business owner – Dori Edwards – is asking for the zoning change. Dori Edwards, an employee of Treecity, was the only person to speak during the public hearing on these requests. The property – located on the west side of State, south of Stimson – is owned by Francis Clark.

A recent court of appeals ruling has raised legal questions about the existence of dispensaries under Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act. However, the Ann Arbor city council decided at its Sept. 6 meeting to proceed with the appointment of four out of the five members of its medical marijuana licensing board. That body will meet for the first time on Sept. 21, from 4-6 p.m. in the city council workroom on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. Update: At the conclusion of its Sept. 19 meeting, the council appointed physician Gene Ragland to the city’s medical marijuana board.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]