City sets public hearing on marijuana zoning

The areas in red are the places where marijuana retailers could operate in Cadillac, while the lavender represents places where other marijuana businesses could operate.

CADILLAC — You couldn’t boat up to a marijuana shop on the west end of Lake Cadillac, under rules the city is considering for marijuana establishments.

The city is taking the next step in establishing rules related to marijuana in Cadillac.

While the city had already approved an ordinance regulating how many recreational and marijuana businesses will be allowed to operate in the city, council is now moving forward with setting the zoning rules for marijuana businesses.

Monday night, city council voted to set a public hearing on proposed zoning ordinances related to marijuana that the city’s planning commission had already voted to recommend. The public hearing is set for Monday, Nov. 18.

Much of the proposed zoning ordinance deals with where medical and recreational marijuana businesses could operate; the city already decided there could be at most four retailers in Cadillac (two for medical and two for recreational).

Those retailers would be limited to certain districts and, if the zoning ordinance is approved, would place additional restrictions on marijuana businesses.

For example, marijuana businesses on the main downtown part of Mitchell Street would not be allowed to have ground-level stores; they’d have to be upstairs or downstairs and the entrances would have to be from the alley.

Mayor Carla Filkins questioned whether that restriction might run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act, since upstairs or basement stores might not be wheelchair accessible.

But Mike Homier, the city’s attorney, told city council that accessibility is likely to be dictated by building code, not zoning.

In Cadillac West, marijuana retailers would have to be on parcels with frontage on M-115 or M-55 but the parcel could not have Lake Cadillac frontage.

Council member Shari Spoelman questioned whether the drafted zoning ordinance, which would allow for marijuana retailers (but not other kinds of businesses, like grow operations) to operate within 1,000 of a school, was too permissive.

The proposed zoning ordinances also place restrictions on how close a marijuana business could be to single-family dwellings; retailers would need to be more than 100 feet away while other types of marijuana businesses would have to be 500 feet away.

Cadillac News