By Rosemary K. Otzman
Just before the end of a half-hour regular meeting of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees on Dec. 9, newly appointed Trustee Matthew Oddy gave a statement which led to a vote.
Although it was not on the agenda for board action, the vote was taken to approve a moratorium on marijuana provisionary centers and dispensaries. No time for the moratorium was stated.
Oddy is chairman of a township committee studying a proposed ordinance dealing with placement of marijuana provisionary centers and dispensaries, in case the state approves them.
“It’s a huge task,” Oddy said, noting that committee members are investigating the marijuana laws in a lot of states and the laws are 100 to 200 pages long.
“We’re trying as a township to mirror what states do,” Oddy said. “We definitely see a need for provisionary centers and dispensaries … But we need to be having that so patients don’t go in residential areas, but to a place like a doctor’s office … It’s been a benefit to places that have it … We found it a huge task.”
Oddy said township attorney Rob Young said that the state House Bill on the subject looked like it would pass by the end of the year. He said he hopes the state passes regulations so the township doesn’t have to.
Oddy said he would like to see a moratorium on any provisionary centers until the state passes its House Bill and, “We can get our ordinance together.”
Supervisor John Morgan asked if he wanted a vote on the moratorium that evening.
Oddy seemed surprised that the board could vote on it immediately.
“It would be appropriate, although they are not legal now,” said attorney Young. “But we want to be proactive. If the state doesn’t take action by the end of the year, we’ll go ahead with our ordinance.”
The committee studying the township ordinance is made up of Oddy, Young, and planning commissioners Jane Stalmack and Jim Clark.
Trustee Peggy Morgan said she went into a provisionary center to look it over and it was just like a doctor’s office.
“It’s very educational to visit,” Trustee Morgan said, adding it is nothing like you would imagine it to be.
“All the research on line shows a lot of these place are very professional … Go see them or see them on line. Come to the meetings and give us your opinions,” Oddy said.
The next meeting has not been set.
The board passed the moratorium motion unanimously.
In other action at the Dec. 9 meeting, the board:
• Referred the proposed revocation of a special exception use for the Sumpter Roller Rink, 19750 Sumpter Road, to the planning commission. The board was going to hold a public hearing on the permit for the roller rink on Dec. 9, but attorney Young said it needed to go to a public hearing at the planning commission first, since that is the body that recommended it to the board. It is expected to be on the Jan. 8 planning commission agenda. After the planners make a recommendation, it will go to the board for action. The special exception use permit allowed the roller rink to hold other kinds of gatherings at the rink besides roller skating. Activities at some of the gatherings have led to involvement of the police;
• Approved the supervisor’s reappointment of Jim Clark to the planning commission with a term to expire Nov. 9, 2017;
• Approved the supervisor’s recommendation to move Virginia Belinski from being an alternate to a regular member of the Zoning Board of Appeals;
• Approved amendment No. 2 to the water service contract between the City of Detroit and Sumpter Township. This year Sumpter paid $20,000 less than the previous year because of less use. Young said these amendments are mostly minor engineering and technical changes, which he has no problem with;
• Approved the termination of fire fighter Kyle Simmons as recommended by Fire Chief Joe Januszyk. Simmons was approved as a paid per call fire fighter on Aug. 9, 2011;
• Heard Supervisor Morgan say Deputy Treasurer Karen Armatis, who will be moving to the position of Deputy Supervisor, will do both deputy jobs during the tax season. Once new Treasurer Alan Bates gets up to speed, Bates will hire a new deputy treasurer, Supervisor Morgan said;
• Heard Supervisor Morgan appoint Treasurer Bates as liaison to the water and sewer department, Trustee Oddy as liaison to the planning commission (on which he had been sitting), and Trustee Bill Hamm as liaison to the senior department. The rest of the liaison appointments will remain the same, he said. Morgan said there will have to be a new appointment to the planning commission;
• Approved the Wayne County annual permits for special events, annual maintenance, and pavement restoration; and
• Approved warrants totaling $155,199.53 on a roll-call vote.
By Rosemary K. Otzman