A group of apartment owners in the city of Clinton does not want the alley near the Grossbeck Highway to be used for parking by employees of the Mount Clemens pot shop, saying it could lead to unpleasant behavior by passers-by.
Members of Rose Meadows condominiums believe parking can attract lawbreakers. In recent years, homeowners have collected garbage, empty containers of alcohol, used drugs and even a mattress used for sexual acts by prostitutes.
About 17 homeowners have signed a petition against the plan, which is scheduled to be voted on Monday night by the Clinton Board of Trustees. They say the land is less than 20 feet from their home.
“Based on the activities in the closed parking lot of Big Boy and the aforementioned former parking lot, undesirable actions will occur if parking is allowed,” – said residents in a petition asking to reject the proposal.
Retail JARS Cannabis, which has not yet opened, located on the Grosbeck Highway north of Cass Avenue, is asking to change the zoning from the general B3 business to a parking lot to accommodate parking behind the store.
The store is physically located in Mount Clemens, but the alley scheduled for parking is on Ferndale Street, just outside the building, a few feet from the city’s Clinton border. That is why the company needs the approval of the township to pave and fence the parking lot for employees with an area of less than an acre.
Late Sunday, co-owner JARS Cannabis told The Macomb Daily that it had met with apartment owners to soothe some of their concerns. Stavros Tom said they were unaware of plans to fully improve the parking lot so that it was not visible to the apartments, and as a security measure would have an electronic television site.
“This parking lot will only be used by staff,” Tom said.
Tom said that as a result of the meeting, the apartment owners withdrew their objections. The petition of the apartment was included in the backup information package prepared for the guardians of the township.
Due to objections from the Director of Planning and the City Attorney, in January the Clinton City Planning Commission voted to approve the changes and submit them to the Board of Trustees for final decisions.
Commission members said there was little chance that the site would be developed other than parking. They believe that with the guarantees that JARS plans to adopt, the finished product will become an asset to the community.
Analysis by planning director Bruce Thompson shows that the owners of the now vacant property have not been able to prove how compatible the proposal will be with neighboring properties. He also notes that it is the use of marijuana that is prohibited by city law.
In March 2020, residents of the state’s most populous township voted to reject a plan that supports the opening of marijuana entertainment facilities. Recreational users can smoke a pot in their homes, but they cannot grow it.
In addition, Thompson notes, in the master plan the facility is united by a part of the reconstruction corridor, which is designed to promote quality construction, convenient for traffic and pedestrians.
Parking does not meet these criteria, Thompson said.
In addition, the city’s attorney believed that the use of the property should be assessed in the light of the health and well-being of the community in which it is located, not the surrounding area.
JARS is a Michigan-owned cannabis retailer with stores in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and elsewhere. The company plans to open facilities in Center Line and Mount Clemens this year
Lawyer Robert Kirk, who represents the JARS group, said it was “unrealistic” to expect the site to be developed. He said the land will be landscaped by adding a cobbled plot, landscaping, lighting and security system, and the plot is not for customers as Mount Clemens already has space but for staff.
“The proposed resonance should be considered on its merits, in relation to the object and without taking into account the decisions and jurisdiction of any neighboring community,” Kirk wrote in the documents of the village. “The requested resonance is in line with Clinton’s long-term land use plans.”
He said the Clinton Township ordinances do not require parking to be specific. The business intends to operate an approved store that is permitted under Mount Clemens regulations.
A board of trustees meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Civic Center, 40,700 Romeo Plank Road.