Dexter Township puts in place a land preservation policy and medical marijuana ordinance

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If Dexter Township wants to apply for grant funding to help with land preservation, then it needs to first put in place a new policy.

The township board did this at its Dec. 21 meeting.

Upon recommendation of the Open Space and Land Preservation Committee, the township board approved implementing the Conservation Easement Monitoring Policy.

This policy is required for Dexter Township to be eligible for state funds and grants.

The opening paragraph of the policy states: “It is the policy of Dexter Township to monitor conservation easements granted through its farmland protection program on an annual basis at minimum. The monitoring visit shall be conducted by a qualified staff person or consultant or may be contracted to a local land conservancy. Reporting shall occur on a form produced by the Township.”

The hope and plan for putting the policy in place is that it will help the township qualify for the Michigan State Agriculture Preservation Program. The township is asking its consultant, Barry Lonik of Treemore Ecology and Land Services, to apply to this program for matching grant funds for the Monier property, which is near West Lake and the West Lake Preserve.

In other decisions from the Dec. 21 meeting, the township board had a second reading and voted to adopt the ordinance pertaining to medical marijuana caregivers.

Township supervisor Diane Ratkovich said there was some push back from the public in attendance at the meeting, specifically around such requirements that a caregiver have a residential property with at least five acres and a patient is not permitted to use the medical marijuana at the caregiver’s home.

A medical marijuana caregiver is required to grow marijuana in an enclosed locked facility that is on a parcel that is at least 5 acres and 100 feet from any property line.

A medical marijuana caregiver is defined as someone who provides assistance to a qualified medical marijuana patient and legally supplies a patient with medical marijuana. A caregiver may have up to five patients registered to them, and can grow up to 12 plants for each of them, and if the caregiver is a patient themselves and has five patients, they can grow up to 72 cannabis marijuana plants.

According the drafted zoning ordinance amendment, it “is the intent of this subsection to regulate Medical Marihuana Registered Primary Caregivers as Home Occupations. This subsection is not intended to allow commercial marihuana grow operations within the Township, as prohibited by Ordinance 40.”

The ordinance was approved with these requirements.

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