Medical Marijuana plan for Saline's Mickey’s Dairy Twist moving to the next step

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Site location for proposed medical marijuana dispensary. image courtesy of city of Saline planning documents

The special land use permit request that is proposing to change Mickey’s Dairy Twist into a medical marijuana dispensary has been approved by the Saline City Council.

At its May 16 meeting, the city council approved by a 6 to 1 vote the special land use application by AM & BH Industries, LLC Medical Marihuana Dispensary, which is proposed to be at 751 W. Michigan Avenue. The plan was approved with some conditions the applicant must meet, including having the final site plan materials satisfactorily reviewed by the City Engineer or engineering consultant.

According to the plan, the dispensary will be located in an existing commercial building (Mickey’s Dairy Twist), which has a 1,350 square feet in gross floor area and is around half an acre in lot size.

According to the report from city consultant, Carlisle Wortman, “the site plan does not propose changes to the existing building footprint. The dispensary will include a nine-seat waiting area partitioned from a limited- access retail space, with an additional staff break room, a secured storage area, and public and private restrooms. An existing single-family detached residential dwelling is also located on the site. The most recent use of the dwelling was not available for this review. The remainder of the site is predominantly parking lot. The applicant is proposing to demolish the existing dwelling and install a landscaped parking lot island in its place…”

During the city council meeting there was a public hearing on the issue and some residents expressed concerns, specifically about the location. Two residents who live near the location said they were not against allowing dispensaries, but they didn’t think this was the right spot.

City Council member Janet Dillon agreed with this take and was the no vote for the request. Among her concerns, she said it’s just too close to residential.

Representing the applicant at the meeting was Shaun Mansour. He re-emphasized, which he said in a previous letter to the city, the facility will be highly secured and regulated, and it will be aesthetically pleasing.

In his letter to the city about the application, Mansour said the entire premises will be under 24 hour camera surveillance on the exterior and interior, and it will only allow patients with proper identification to enter. He told the council and those present at the meeting that it is only intended for adults, and no children can enter and there would be no outside sales of medical marijuana.

The next step for the plan will now have it go into the final site plan process, which will include going back before the planning commission and having additional public hearings.

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