Almena Township approves applications of two marihuana provisioning centers

Paul Garrod -

    ALMENA TWP. - At the May 15 Almena Township Board meeting, the board approved two proposed marihuana provisioning centers.
    At its May 6 meeting, the Almena Township Planning Commission recommended approval with conditions for zoning compliance of the Floraison marihuana provisioning center special use and site plan applications.
    David Jirousek, AICP, presented the resolution he prepared for the board, with the revised conditions. The board approved the motion.
    The board also approved a special use and site plan application for Green Eden, LLC, M-43 Highway, Mattawan, for a marihuana provisioning  center.
    The Almena Township Planning Commission had recommended approval for zoning compliance of the special land use and final site plan with conditions.
    During limited public comment, Dave Connor of Floraison, LLC, told the board and those in the audience that their proposed marihuana provisioning center would be as safe as possible for the community.
    Also during limited public comment, James Porter of 30555 29th St., said that he was concerned  about the process to review and approve marihuana establishments.
    Porter presented a letter to the board dated May 9, that outlined his concerns.
    Zachary Morris, executive director of Market Van Buren, made a request to the board  for an annual contribution to help fund county-wide economic development.
    The board approved a motion for an annual contribution of $3,883.81 to help fund county economic development.
    The board also discussed the need for code enforcement, with  emphasis on having a step-by-step process in place first.
    Jirousek will have a sample resolution prepared for the June meeting.
    The board  also approved  a fee resolution and escrow policy for planning and zoning applications to help cover expenses incurred in planning and zoning proceedings.
    The Almena Township Board also approved a 2019-2020 fiscal year contract with the Paw Paw Quick Response, not to exceed $6,000.
    The board also took up discussion of the operation of off-road vehicles (ORV) on township roads.
    Scott Conklin, of Lawrence, told the board of Lawrence Township’s recent approval to allow ORVs on their township’s roads. He also presented a copy of the Lawrence Township ORV  ordinance to the Almena Township Board. The board took no action on the issue, and requested more information.
    The recent township clean-up day saw over 25,000 pounds of refuse collected. Almena Township Supervisor Bill VanTassel said the township tire collection was also a success, thanks in part to the Van Buren County Conservation District.

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