Marijuana dispensary OK’d by planning commission in Marysville
Special to The Union
The Marysville Planning and Historic Preservation Commission voted 5-2 Wednesday night to grant a use permit to a medical marijuana dispensary.
The permit is for River City Phoenix Medical Marijuana Dispensary, which will be at 521 Third St. It was the second time the permit has come before the commission.
Previously, members had questioned the required distance from the play area at the McDonald’s off E Street. The group voted to send the permit back to staff for further investigation.
Denis Cook, interim Community Development and Services Department director, said the play area has been removed and will not be replaced, according to building plans submitted to the city.
“The new design shows no play area, so we consider it a moot point,” Cook told commission members.
The public voiced concerns about parking in the area. River City Phoenix plans on adding 32 parking spaces, exceeding the city requirement of 26.
Commission member Michael Paine said the parking spaces provided by the dispensary will be adequate.
“As to parking, there will be 32 parking spaces. I doubt 32 people will be buying medical marijuana at the same time,” Paine said.
Another concern expressed was an increase in homeless traffic to the area.
Cook said to enter the dispensary, proof of a medical marijuana prescription must be provided.
“It’s fairly expensive (to purchase medical marijuana),” he said. “I don’t think it will exacerbate the homeless problem in that area.”
Members of the public have 10 business days to appeal the commission’s decision. If appealed, the use-permit would go before the city council. If not appealed, the permit will be granted.
Buck Weckman of Brownsville has been a staunch opponent of medical marijuana dispensaries in Marysville. Weckman did not attend the meeting, but sent a letter to the commission stating the River City Phoenix parking lot was not the required 250 feet from a residential area.
“This lot is an integral part of the marijuana dispensary operation and the (use-permit) application,” Weckman wrote. “Therefore, based upon the City of Marysville’s own ordinance, the (use-permit) should not be issued.”
Cook said the distance requirement applies to business operations within the building and not the adjacent lot, which will be used for parking.
“The business itself is on a separate parcel,” Cook said. “It was irrelevant where the parking lot is because no business can occur in the parking lot.”
Commission members Beverly Hayes and David Hobbs dissented on moral grounds.
Commission chairman Bruce Buttacavoli said while he does not approve of marijuana, the application met city ordinance requirements.
“I agree with everything that’s been said, but I see it as a matter of ‘does it meet all the criteria?’” Buttacavoli said.
Paine said the tax revenue projected from the sale of medical marijuana will be good for the city.
“I think it’s a good thing for Marysville and for people I know,” he said. “There are some pretty heavy restrictions that are in the ordinance regarding safety.”
Joining Paine and Buttacavoli in approving the permit were commission members Brad Hudson, Candis King and Benjamin Deal.
Patrick Groves is a reporter for the Appeal Democrat in Marysville and can be reached at email@example.com.
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