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Bedford Twp. planning panel OKs medical marijuana rules

Ordinance must be approved by county, township board

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TEMPERANCE -- The Bedford Township Planning Commission has recommended approval of the zoning ordinance that would regulate medical marijuana use in the township.

The commission's review was the first hurdle for the legislation. It now moves on to the Monroe County Planning Commission for its review March 9.

The ordinance would amend the "home occupations" section of the township's zoning law to comply with the voter-approved Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, allowing individual qualifying registered patients and registered care providers to grow medical marijuana in their homes.

However, the proposal forbids any marijuana activities that involve dispensaries, compassion clubs, grow facilities and cooperatives, nurseries, stores, or manufacturing.

The township planning panel recommended 6-0 for approval. Commission member George Welling was absent.

The commission received no public comment during the Feb. 23 hearing.

After the hearing before the county planning commission, the ordinance will go before the township board. A date has not been scheduled for the public hearing.

The ordinance was prepared by the township planning department in response to a six-month moratorium enacted in August by township officials.

The township planning commission also reviewed a zoning request to build a 6,000-square-foot automobile parts store on Secor Road near Sterns Road.

Representatives for AutoZone initially sought modification of zoning for a parcel near the Kroger from C-2 to C-3, the most intensive commercial zoning allowed in the township.

The panel discussed the request but expressed concerns about what the property could be used for in the future in the advent the auto parts business closed.

"The concern was that if C-3 was allowed and the business failed, we could end up with an empty building and the zoning could allow something like an adult entertainment business to move in that area. With C-1 zoning, that would not be allowed," said Gail Hauser-Hurley, planning commission member.

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