Ypsilanti to consider new medical marijuana grow operation on city's southside
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
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.
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 AnnArbor.com news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.