By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – The City Council approved two resolutions May 2 allowing retail sales of adult use recreational marijuana, and approving zoning changes to make it possible for the shops to exist.
The council, which discussed the motions at the April 4 meeting, tabled the proposed zoning changes during the April 18 meeting to allow for research to ensure that the zoning would make it possible for retail establishments to exist within the city given the restrictions of being more than 2,500 feet from places of worship, schools, parks, daycares, libraries, residential areas and other recreational marijuana businesses.
Drive-through and curbside services would not be permitted. All retail transactions would be required to occur within an enclosed building. In addition, recreational marijuana sales may not be combined with a liquor store or a business that sells alcohol.
Marijuana consumption would not be allowed at the site of any business establishment.
Changes were made to the original wording to allow recreational marijuana businesses to be closer than 2,500 feet from each other if they are separated by railroad tracks or interstate freeways, which would open up more possible locations within the city.
The council’s vote followed the passage of a Nov. 8 city-wide ballot measure in favor of recreational marijuana sales.
Following extensive public comment May 5, both in favor of recreational retail marijuana sales and against it, the council amended its zoning ordinance that previously permitted only medical marijuana sales, then approved the actual zoning for the recreational marijuana businesses.
The motion to amend Appendix A of the city’s zoning ordinance to permit adult use marijuana sales passed 5-2, with Councilmembers Charley Johnson, Butch Ramik, Douglass Geiss, Jill Brandana and Ira Slavin voting in favor, and Councilmembers Angie Winton and Lindsey Rose opposed.
The second reading of the ordinance entitled Marijuana Commercial Businesses, Chapter 11, with the repeal of Chapter 11, Articles I, II and III as modified, which had limited sales to medical marijuana in the past, was approved 4-3, with Johnson, Ramik, Geiss and Brandana in favor, and Winton, Slaven and Rose opposed.
Council Chairman Geiss quoted the late John Dingell Jr. in an attempt to defuse some of the tension in the room, and said the only perfect law he can recall is the Ten Commandments, which were written by the finger of God on a tablet of stone for Moses.
The city’s code of ordinances is on its website, but as of publication, the changes had not yet been put online.