2017-10-12 / Front Page

Grand Blanc Township Planning Commission extends controversial zoning approval, schedules medical marijuana public hearing

By Timothy Mucciante, View Correspondent

It was a busy night for the Grand Blanc Township Planning Commission last Thursday night. The commission approved a zoning map amendment for the proposed

Technology Park and Technology Village Center, addressed a zoning extension request for Banbury Commons and scheduled a medical marijuana zoning ordinance public hearing.

Fireworks started in the public comment period about Redwood Acquisition’s request for a one year zoning extension for its Banbury Commons project. The residents were all from the bordering subdivision, and the complaints ranged from the developer delaying the development to not returning phone calls to the developer not honoring its commitment to pave a road.

Kelly McEver spoke on behalf of Redwood Acquisition. She pointed out that planning commission must grant Redwood’s request, if it could be demonstrated that the delay on the project was out of the developer’s control and that the development would be completed within one year. McEver did assure the commission that the project would be completed within one year, if the extension was granted, with the exact timing determined by when the spring thaw occurred.

To prove the delay was out of the developer’s control, McEver pointed to consistent delays caused by the Genesee County Road Commission dragging out the necessary approvals.

Planning Commission member Joe Johnson picked up on this, saying that his frustration is “very high.” “I’m looking at this and saying we’ve got a second request for a one year extension, you’re saying and showing to us that it’s (because) of a department that is out of our control and we have a room full of irritated residents… and a room full of irritated board members and we’ve got representatives from the developer who has spent a half a million dollars in stuff they feel like they should not have had to do. All because of a department that is out of out control.”

Ultimately the planning commission approved an eight month extension for the Banbury Commons zoning, with planning commission member Ron Goldie making the motion, seconded by member Ed Brown. The request was unanimously approved by the planning commission, on an individual voice vote.

In other news, although the township has opted-out of the medical marijuana regulatory structure, the township still has a zoning ordinance setting aside specific use areas for medical marijuana dispensaries. A public hearing was scheduled for the planning commission’s next meeting to amend the zoning ordinance to bring it into conformity with the township’s decision to opt-out.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Grand Blanc Township Planning Commission is scheduled for Nov. 2, 7:00 p.m., at 5361 S. Saginaw St.

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