THREE OAKS — The Three Oaks Village Planning Commission on June 1 approved Special Land Use requests and Site Plan Reviews for four potential marijuana-related businesses.
Special Land Use and Site Plan Review hearings were held for the following:
• Farnan Farms, LLC, 720 West U.S. 12 (a proposed grow, processing and retail sales operation).
Planners were told the complex at the 68-acre Enterprise Park will consist of a processing operation, a cultivation operation, and a retail operation (to be developed in two phases), with plans to hire 25 to 35 employees from the Three Oaks area; that about 80 percent of the property will still be farmed; and that other businesses also could be brought in to locate there.
Planning Commission consultant Becky Harvey said other standards apply for grow and processing when it comes to special land use in areas such as noise, door, security and discharge of contaminants.
Planning Commission member Tom Flint said he doesn’t see how a retail space “out in the middle of farmland” benefits the village, also stating the impact of such an establishment on traffic in the area, particularly on U.S. 12 where there currently no left turn lane onto Schwark Road, is unknown.
Harvey later noted that since retail has already been given the status of a special land use at the enterprise Park property, the village would have to feel it would have an impact more egregious than the grower and the processor operations. She also said a traffic study could be requested prior to the Planning Commission making a decision.
Ultimately planners agreed to approve a Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for phase one of the Farnan Farms, provided conditions in Harvey’s report are followed. Action on phase two (the retail portion) was postponed to the July meeting with traffic study information requested from the applicant.
• Lume, LLC, 6814 U.S. 12 (marihuana provisioning center and retail sales) was presented as a project consisting of replacing a home between the existing car wash and Horizon Bank on U.S. 12 with a 2,200- to 2,300-square foot facility that would have a single entrance and exit, 44 parking spaces, a solar carport, and 15 to 20 employees. Planners were told Lume has 18 stores operating in Michigan, about eight more under construction, and a plans for 35 by the end of the year.
The Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for the Lume proposal was approved with the parking set-up conditional to village parking regulations being amended.
• A Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for Exclusive Healing (also known as Harbor Country Cannabis), 6761 U.S. 12 (marihuana provisioning center and retail sales) was OK’d, with the same conditions related to parking as the Lume approval.
The retail business would be located in an existing building, with the company growing its product five miles away.
Issues over whether Exclusive Healing or Bloom Operations has the right to operate a business at the 6761 U.S. 12property have come up at several Planning Commission meetings (both applicants have now been approved for the initial stage in the process), and that issue was raised again on June 1. The Planning Commission has taken the position that coming up with an answer to that legal issue is not within its purview.
• The Planning Commission approved a Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for Highway Horticulture, 300 East Ash St. (marihuana provisioning center and retail sales) – planned to be a partnership between a group described as having deep ties to the community of Three Oaks in partnership with the Welter family and Journeyman. The east side facility has plenty of space around it. The approval was conditional to village parking regulations being amended
Harvey said an entrance on Tulip Drive originally proposed in May has been closed in the revised plan.
Village Manager Dan Faulkner read a letter from a neighbor of the 300 East Ash St. site raising concerns about the possible negative impact a marijuana dispensary could have on their property values, and the impact on the nearby elementary school and young families.