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September 5, 2019 - Minutes Joint Work Session

Thursday, September 5, 2019

A Joint Meeting of the City Commission and Planning Commission for the City of Buchanan was scheduled at City Hall, 302 N. Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.  The Mayor called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m. 

City Commission Members present: Mayor Moore, Commissioners Toerne, Weedon, Denison and Downey (arrived at 6:38) 
City Commission Members absent:  
Planning Commission Members present: Kevin Barker and Vanessa Burns
Staff present:        City Manager Bill Marx, City Zoning Administrator Debra Patzer and City Clerk Brenda Hess
Guests/Visitors present:  Rick Paniagua, Alan Robandt, Ed Graveline, Billy Breen, Alex Lenowicz, and four others

Patzer opened by explaining the creation of draft number seven. 

Discussion centered around temporary events on page 4 of the Ordinance. The possibility of having events at local growers was discussed.  Paniagua pointed out that if they don’t work, they do not have to be approved.  The learning curve would be high.  Clarification that “one event” would mean “one at a time”.  Because they need to be approved far in advance that would provide time to learn and have meetings prior to actual event.  Planning Commission could screen events before sending them to the Commission for approval.  Limiting events to existing marijuana businesses would help with.  An audience member noted the State law is very gray and not all particulars for events are clear.  Consensus is to allow one event and then see how it goes before approving any more.  Graveline commented that he would like to be able to come and request to have an event at his grow.  It was noted that the “seven-day event” part of the law means that an event needs to occur on seven consecutive days and cannot be divided up over multiple days spread out over a longer period of time.  

Barker suggested approving one event at a time and see how it goes.  The local marijuana businesses could go in together and have one event.  Lenowicz noted these events are more focused on marketing and collaborative in nature.  Robandt inquired legally if only local people would be allowed to have events.  Patzer reiterated that we can regulate it by time, place, and manner.  

Marx noted that when we make changes to the Ordinance it has to be published and have meetings.  Moore noted that we could state a number “as approved” by the Commission.  It was noted limiting events to one at a time would be a good idea.  Paniagua noted language could be added stating something like “event should be in agreement with community standards”.  Patzer noted it can be controlled through the application providing there is consistency throughout.  The zoning ordinance can control the process and spell out the particulars of each event.  

Moore inquired about timelines for the zoning ordinance and Patzer expressed the desire to have both Ordinance done by November 1.  Patzer noted that health, safety and welfare of citizens is the cornerstone of Ordinances.  Robandt noted that there are not many places to have an event due to 500 and 1000 limits for churches and schools.  Graveline inquired about the restrictions on signage for marijuana businesses.   

Barker noted that the “umbrella” of businesses is still unclear.  

Downey arrived at 6:38 p.m.

On Page 15, Section 19 – Patzer noted changes from previous draft.

On Page 14, Section 15 – Patzer noted changes regarding ventilation.  Smoking and vaping of adult use will be prohibited in these establishments.  It was noted that the State allows it so it is possible the City cannot prohibit it.  Questions were asked about smoking tobacco and the rules regarding it.  It was noted that if smoking was not permitted there is a possibility there would not be interest in having either a consumption room or event.

Hours of operation were discussed, and it was decided hours would be varied and determined during the application process. 

Patzer would like to schedule a first reading and encouraged all to get changes to her as soon as possible so a first reading could happen at the beginning of October.

 Mayor adjourned meeting at 7:03 p.m. Future meeting not planned at this time.

__________________________            _____________________________
Brenda J. Hess    , City Clerk                Patricia Moore, Mayor

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