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Posted on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Ypsilanti to consider new medical marijuana grow operation on city's southside

By Tom Perkins


The city of Ypsilanti is considering a special use permit for the "Aspen Gardens" medical marijuana grow operation at 75 S. Catherine St.

Tom Perkins | For

The city of Ypsilanti Planning Commission this week will consider a special use permit for a medical marijuana grow operation on the city’s southside.

The building, which City Planner Teresa Gillotti estimates is at least 5,000 square feet, has been the source of a variety of issues in recent years.

Several businesses were operating at 75 Catherine St. without a certificate of occupancy, several additions were constructed without permits and it served for a period as the headquarters of the local Iron Coffins Motorcycle Club.

The Iron Coffins are the last owners listed on the city's website. Gilllotti said the property was bought out of foreclosure by the former owners who lost the building to tax foreclosure, then sold it to the group hoping to open the facility.

Gillotti didn't say she supports the special permit but listed reasons the positives of a grow operation at the location. Among other pluses, it will bring a legitimate, taxpaying business to the building, she said.

“This has been a problematic property, so we’re happy to have new ownership that’s interested in bringing the building up to code ... and having another tax payer in the city,” she said.

The applicant named on the special use permit application is AZ Holdings and the grow operation will be named “Aspen Gardens.”

Gillotti said she didn’t see any issue with the close proximity to the Chidester Place apartment complex, which is on the same block and has a high number of elderly and disabled residents. She said it could be the second grow operation in the city.

“We have another growing operation and we haven’t had any issues with them,” she said of the Green Vitality Remedies on Mansfield Street.

Another grow operation hoping to open at 834 Railroad Street is awaiting site plan approval, Gillotti said.

Gillotti said grow operations were not impacted by a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision that medical marijuana dispensaries were not addressed in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and therefore illegal.

The planning commission will vote on the special use permit after a public hearing at its Wednesday, March 20 meeting.

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Reach the news desk at



Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

This place has looked a bit of a dumping ground for a while. It might get cleaned up a bit now. It should be relatively easy to secure as well.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 4:10 a.m.

This is a residential area. But the population is quite small . Still seems ok to me

Ypsi Eastsider

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

If the only requirement is to be a tax paying business, why not let them open on Water Street?


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

Billy seems worried that locations of grow "facilities" might become public. Why? Is it because they become targets? Yes, they do, and that is why it is so important to get these into commercial or business areas and out of residential areas. Glad to see this development. Ypsi can use the taxes and keeping it out of residential areas is good for everyone.

Martin Church

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Under what LEAGLE justification does the city have to allow this operation to flourish. According to the law a person is only allowed to grow x number of plants to support X number of people this facility goes far beyond those limits. This is illegal and it's time the city start to enforce the law. STOP the pot growing, you want it grow it your self and stop this violation of the Law.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

I consulted with the "Leagal" Beagle and he said it was cool.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

I thought that the grow facility was being proposed for the brick building that is right across the street from the building in the photo. As neither of these buildings have an address on them I asked the postal carrier which one was number 75, and was told it was the back of the brick building. If the grow facility pay taxes I see no reason that it should not be approved. Much better than having the building sit empty. I support ths special use permit.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Glad to hear about the new grow room. These clinics help a lot of people with MS, Parkinsons and many other sicknesses. For anyone who is against them they aren't sick and they don't have any family members sick either. Patients like me need the help and we are thankful for the dispensaries.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

Just what we need..............


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

I thought all conservatives were FOR business? I guess not when it comes to marijuana. It's best to leave your ideology at the door!


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

You mean a person in Michigan making money, providing for themselves and also providing the state money? You are right, that is exactly what we need.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 11:57 a.m.

Seems rather unethical for the news to be LOUDLY proclaiming where "grow operations" are... In fact ....why are you using the phrase "grow operation" in the first place? That's a colloquial term used to describe ILLEGAL "operations." You should refer to it as a grow "facility."