Village of Chesaning

CHESANING — The Chesaning Village Council is moving one step closer to addressing longstanding questions regarding its recreational marijuana establishments ordinance, scheduling a public hearing to gather input from area residents as to whether or not the village should expand the current ordinance to allow for additional recreational marijuana storefronts.

The public hearing, set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at the village hall, will be a part of the Chesaning Village Council’s regular session. The council voted unanimously Tuesday to schedule the hearing after receiving a recommendation from Village Administrator Troy Feltman.

“I can’t tell you how much anxiety I’ve had because people are calling. I don’t want to be disingenuous and tell them to fill out the application if we don’t have the intention of allowing another retailer, if we’re not going to put the microbusinesses in a certain district,” Feltman said Tuesday. “At this point, I’ve been in a holding pattern, most of these people have been in a holding pattern. But I’m to the point I can’t hold back any longer, I need to be able to give them an answer.”

In May 2019, the Chesaning Village Council voted to allow recreational marijuana businesses, agreeing to issue licenses for growing, processing, secure transport, safety compliance and provisioning.

With respect to provisioning centers, the village council opted to cap the number of commercial storefronts at two, with the understanding the village’s two existing medical marijuana provisioning centers — ReLeaf Provisioning Center and The River Provisioning — would hold those slots.

The village also opted to allow for the establishment of microbusinesses under the recreational ordinance, though no regulations with respect to zoning or the number of facilities permitted have been implemented for that type of use at this point, according to Feltman.

“Microbusiness is a designation under the adult use that has three, what we could consider, facilities in it,” he said. “It would have a small grow, 150 plants, it would have processing facility and a retail shop. If you think about what we’ve done before, there is not a single zone that would allow all three of those uses under our medical marijuana ordinance.”

ReLeaf Provisioning Center and The River Provisioning — Chesaning’s current marijuana storefronts — are both located in the village’s Central Business District, though other marijuana operations, including growing, processing, secure transport and safety compliance facilities, are permitted in the village’s agricultural and manufacturing zoning districts.

Provisioning, secure transport and safety compliance facilities are also permitted in the village’s Business Corridor, District, according to the village’s zoning ordinance.

“We’ve already set the maximum of two (storefronts) in the central business district and I think that’s enough,” Village President Joseph Sedlar Jr. said Tuesday. “There’s no reason to put any more in there.”

Feltman encouraged council members to keep the Central Business District protected, and offered alternatives for where prospective microbusinesses and/or additional commercial storefronts could go.

“I still think that the (business) corridor and the manufacturing would make the most sense for those locations,” Feltman said. “The council has to resolve the issue. Are we going to allow more retail? Because if you’re allowing microbusinesses, you’re (essentially) allowing more retail. Are we then going to allow more storefronts on top of that?”

At this point, the village is able to accept applications for additional storefronts and microbusinesses, though it cannot grant any special use permits until the council reaches a decision, according to Feltman.

“We’re to the point I need to get some direction,” he said. “The board needs to make some decisions so that I know what I’m doing.”

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