ZBA reschedules public hearing for pot grow house

FLINT TWP. — Operators of a Medical Marijuana grow facility are asking the township Zoning Board of Appeals board of appeals for a variance to locate within less than 1500 feet of residential property. A public hearing originally scheduled for March 2 was postponed due to a snowstorm. It has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, March 21 at the township hall.

The petitioner, Eden II. LLC is proposing a medical marihuana business to be located on a 10.46-acre vacant parcel at 4259-4299 Continental Drive in the Linden Creek Parkway. The variance is needed because the township ordinance prohibits such facilities within 1500 of residential property. The proposed grow facility would be more than 1,500 feet from homes but within 1,300 feet of property lines.

Seven affected homes are located at 4397 S. Linden, 4379 S. Linden, 4373 S. Linden, 4363 S. Linden, 4355 S. Linden, 4345 S. Linden and 4335 S. Linden.

The petition included a letter from current owner of the property, Richard Scharrer, of New Flint Development on Beecher Road, granting permission for Eden to seek the variance.

The petition also included a letter from Pollicella & Associates of Howell, representing Eden. The letter outlines reasons why the variance should be granted. Those reasons include that the “caregiver cultivation facility” will be private and not open to the public. The southwestern edge of the property is located about 1,350 feet from residentially zoned property, just inside of the 1,500-foot limit.

Due to the size of the property and the depth of its setback, the facility itself would be located much further than 1,500 feet away from residential zoning. The property is located in the northeast corner of an Industrial Park, bordered to the north and east by Bishop International Airport. Other industrial properties are located between the property and residences. Also, a large wooded area and the Swartz Creek separate the property from residentially zoned property. There are no residential properties located on Linden Creek Parkway or Continental Drive, according to the petition.

It also stated that no heavy traffic or semi-trailer trucks would be associated with the property and that the proposed use does not deviate from other industrial uses in the area.

The petitioner asserts “practical difficulties’ including that the township ordinance is among the most restrictive in the state.

“This vacant parcel fulfills all the requirements of the ordinance save the 1,500 feet buffer from residentially zoned property,’ the petition states. “The vast majority of the property falls well outside this buffer. … The property is nowhere near any of the disqualifying features in the ordnance: churches, schools, parks, childcare facilities or other regulated uses. … The parcel is located within the correct zoning district. … It is unnecessarily burdensome to disqualify the whole parcel over the buffer requirement when alternative procedures can ensure the spirit of the ordinance is fulfilled.”

The petition must meet township ordinance requirements including that it does not unreasonably diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding area; will not in any other respect impair the public health, safety, comfort morals or welfare of township inhabitants; will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood.

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