CITY OF MUSKEGON
January 10, 2019
Chairperson T. Michalski called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: T. Michalski, F. Peterson, S. Gawron, J. Montgomery-Keast, B.
Mazade, B. Larson, M. Hovey-Wright, E. Hood
MEMBERS ABSENT: J. Doyle, excused
STAFF PRESENT: M. Franzak, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: R. Smith, 185 W Laketon Ave; R. Schmidt, 3205 Brighton Ave; C.
Thomas, 1831 5th St; D. Frasier, 4724 Rood Rd; R. Smith, Mercy
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the Minutes of the regular Planning Commission meeting of December 13,
2018 was made by B. Larson, supported by J. Montgomery-Keast and unanimously approved.
Hearing, Case 2019-01: Request to amend Section 2330 of the zoning ordinance to include 185
W Laketon Ave into the Medical Marihuana Overlay District, by Renee Smith. M. Franzak
presented the staff report. The Medical Marihuana Facilities (MMFLA) Overlay District was
approved on May 8, 2018. A map of the District was provided, with the subject property
highlighted in yellow, abutting the District. To date, the City had approved 15 MMFLA licenses,
most of them for Provisioning Centers (retail sales). However, none of them had been granted a
State license yet. The applicant would like to be included in the MMFLA district, as they are the
only commercial building in the immediate vicinity that was excluded from the district. Initial
concerns over the inclusion of this property into the district included the proximity to residential
homes. However, other properties within the district abut residential areas as well. A letter was
received from D. Edsenga, attorney for the owner of 1823 Commerce St, opposing the request;
two phone calls were received with one in favor from E. Seng of 1824 5th St, and one opposed,
from J. Gallagher of 1845 5th St.
M. Hovey-Wright asked which activities could take place if the request for inclusion in the district
was approved. M. Franzak stated that it would allow all facets of the medical marihuana business.
R. Smith stated that they owned 2 properties next to each other, and were just outside the MMFLA
district boundary. They had spoken to several of their neighbors who had expressed support for
their request. T. Michalski asked what their plans were for the building. R. Smith stated that, at
this time, they had no plans to operate a medical marihuana facility, but they would like to have
the option. They had thought they were already in the district. In addition, if they decided to sell
the property at some point, being in a MMFLA district would be beneficial. R. Schmidt stated that
he supported the request, since these were the only 2 commercial properties excluded from the
MMFLA district. C. Thomas lived next door to the property and supported the request. D. Frasier
owned property nearby in the MMFLA district. He stated that the ordinance had only been in
place about 8 months and he was opposed to making changes to it already. T. Michalski stated
that the overlay district wasn’t meant to be permanent, and that state rules on medical marihuana
changed frequently. R. Smith introduced himself as the legal counsel for Mercy Health and stated
that the organization was opposed to the request. He stated that it was close to the Hackley campus
and there were currently in the process of trying to redevelop their property for the long term.
They didn’t think this would be beneficial to the community, and preferred to see how the current
medical marihuana districts fared before any changes were made.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by B. Mazade and
F. Peterson stated that city staff and commissioners had thoughtfully considered the MMFLA
overlay district boundaries and had selected underdeveloped areas of town that needed
improvement. If this property was to be included in the district, it would make properties currently
in the district less desirable. He preferred to gauge the effects of the medical marihuana industry
on existing district properties before making any changes. M. Hovey-Wright asked how much of
the overlay districts had already been purchased. M. Franzak estimated that there were about 15
license applications in process and around 40-50 parcels in the districts.
A motion that the request to amend Section 2330 of the zoning ordinance to include 185 W Laketon
Avenue in the Medical Marihuana Facilities Overlay District be recommended to City
Commission for approval, was made by B. Larson, supported by E. Hood and was denied, with F.
Peterson, S. Gawron, J. Montgomery-Keast, B. Mazade, M. Hovey-Wright and E. Hood voting
nay, and T. Michalski and B. Larson voting aye. M. Franzak reminded the applicant that the
Planning Commission’s recommendation would still be presented to the City Commission for a
Elections – A motion to retain T. Michalski as Chairperson and B. Mazade as Vice Chair was
made by B. Larson, supported by J. Montgomery-Keast and unanimously approved, with T.
Michalski, F. Peterson, S. Gawron, J. Montgomery-Keast, B. Mazade, B. Larson, M. Hovey-
Wright, and E. Hood voting aye.
Letter from Public Safety Director Jeff Lewis – M. Franzak provided members with a copy of a
letter from the City’s Public Safety Director, regarding access requirements for The Docks
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.