Marijuana dispensary at Family Video – it’s back

“Located on a Quiet Tree-Lined Street, Close to a Marijuana Dispensary and Liquor Store in the Heart of the Neighborhood.”

Not too desirable, or good for your property values. But that might be the description for your home in the College Cultural Neighborhood, if lawyer Brenda Williams has her way.

In 2016 a big group of neighbors made it clear they didn’t want a marijuana dispensary to be located in the former Family Video store at E. Court and Franklin. It isn’t an issue about the pros or cons of marijuana, it is a matter of a poor fit for zoning in that location. Many came to speak at a public hearing. Ultimately the dispensary was denied because it is within 1000 feet of a public park or church.

It turns out they are back. This time they are going after City Council to change the rules to accommodate them!

We found out yesterday that the Flint Zoning Board and the Planning Board have denied new requests for the Family Video to be used as a marijuana dispensary, as well as a location at Lippincott and Center, near a church. So Brenda Williams, an attorney for the marijuana businesses, is taking the next step to convince City Council to change the rules. She has already told them there is no opposition to their plans.

She is asking Council to reduce the distance between marijuana facilities in relation to city parks from 1000 feet down to 500 feet. She is asking for the definition of a public park to mean it must include playground equipment to be considered a public park.

A member of the zoning board – not from our neighborhood – called us yesterday and told us this is specifically aimed at the Family Video location.

Meanwhile, the Draft Master Plan for the City of Flint has still not been approved – it would not permit this zoning in this location. The rule change would allow for more than 20 marijuana businesses in each ward; we already have 17 dispensaries in close proximity to the neighborhood.

Yesterday Councilwoman Monica Galloway asked us to please get the word out.

She said residents need to weigh in at two meetings this week:
Monday, March 26 at 5:30pm in Council Chambers, and
Wednesday, March 28 at 3pm in Council Chambers.

Residents can speak both days about these special rule changes to the zoning ordinances.

Please take a look at the email below.

Hello everyone,

Following up on previous emails, below is the next confirmed meeting date for the Flint City Council to discuss the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) draft ordinance.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 28th at 3pm at Flint City Hall. This meeting will be held on the 3rd Floor of Flint City Hall (Council Chambers).

The draft MMFLA ordinance was formally introduced last night at the Legislative Committee meeting. Attached is the draft ordinance. Also attached to this email is a copy of a presentation given to Council at their meeting on February 28th.

Changes discussed by Council members last night include:

  • Reducing the minimum square feet size on marihuana growing facilities from 10,000 sq.ft. to 5,000 sq.ft. (voted on & confirmed)
  • Reducing the minimum sq.ft. requirements on marihuana processing centers. (No amount discussed)
  • Reducing the distance requirements on marihuana facilities in relation to City Parks. Discussion was not passed, but focused on reducing this amount from 1,000′ to 500′.
  • Revising the definition of a public park to include language that states “playground equipment must be present at a park to consider it a public park.”
  • Discussion around increasing the number of marihuana provisioning facilities from the proposed amount of 20 to a higher number.

Thus far, no ordinance changes have been voted on except the reduction in the minimum sq.ft. of growing facilities.

Questions regarding the meeting or the attached draft or presentation should be directed to Kevin Schronce or Corey Chirstensen

Thank you,
Planning & Zoning Staff

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