Bessemer planners tie on marijuana zoning ordinance – Your Daily



Bessemer – The Bessemer planning commission was scheduled to vote on two ordinances Monday evening, but resulted in tying a vote on one and tabling another.

Members did, however, vote unanimously to pass on to the city council a capital improvement plan with their support. A related hearing on that matter opened and closed with no comment.

Two additional public hearings were held on a recreational marijuana zoning ordinance and on an ordinance prohibiting portable storage containers that exceed specific size guidelines.

A later, related vote on recreational marijuana zoning resulted in a tie, and commissioners tabled the ordinance on storage containers.

“Why are you going to jump the gun?” asked commissioner Bill McDonald regarding Ordinance No. 372, which amends the city’s current zoning ordinance to add the prohibition of recreational marijuana establishments.

“What about it is an emergency?” asked commissioner Louis Miskovich, who wondered why the ordinance, in its own words, refers to its adoption as “an emergency effecting the public peace, health and safety …”

He added, “I don’t see anything that constitutes an emergency.”

City manager Charly Loper said a downstate attorney had advised on the ordinance, which was intended to back up a separate ordinance passed by city council members who agreed to opt out of any aspect of the recreational marijuana business at least until the state works on related licensing rules throughout the rest of this year.

“To actually fully opt out, we have to do the zoning ordinance,” she said, adding that the same process has been a routine with many other Michigan cities.

She reminded the commisssion the city can opt in later if desired.

Miskovich a