TWINSBURG – Voters could get an opportunity next year to pass a zoning that would clarify where medical marijuana-related facilities could be located in the city.
In a motion passed at its August 16 session, the planning commission identified specific zones for the development in which the facilities could be located and passed the recommendation on to the city council.
Since the deadline for submitting topics to the Summit County’s Electoral Committee has expired, the topic, if approved by the Council, would be put to the vote sometime next year.
The following zoning were recommended: for retail pharmacies – C-2 commercial store and C-3 transport hub commercial store as conditional use; for cultivation – I-1 intensive commercial and light industrial, I-2 restricted industrial and I-3 heavy industrial as permitted use; and for processing – I-2 and I-3 as permitted use.
“I will ask the council to act on this recommendation in a timely manner,” said Scott Barr, council representative on the planning committee. “We will do our best to get this to the electorate as soon as possible.”
In May, the council approved a six-month moratorium on the acceptance of applications for, or the issuance of zoning permits or permits for medical marijuana facilities. The moratorium should give the planning body time to make a recommendation.
The Ohio Revised Code gives municipalities the power to legislate to prohibit or limit the number of growers, processors, or retail dispensaries authorized in the community, and to enact planning, zoning, and business regulation laws.
City planner Lynn Muter told commissioners that the state has made two additional licenses available for pharmacies in Summit County, giving businesses the option to choose a location in Twinsburg if they so choose.
“When it comes to medical marijuana surgery, there is a very solid government structure in place,” said panelist Steve Shebeck. “I no longer see this as a threat” [to the community] than drugstores selling stronger drugs. Strict security measures apply.
“I believe the city should be business friendly and welcome this type of company. Empty retail space could be filled, and I think we shouldn’t impose any other restrictions other than specifying locations and complying with government mandates. “
The panel raised the question of what would happen if recreational marijuana became legal in Ohio. Muter said the city must follow established state guidelines and include such usage in its zoning regulations.
The planners recommended to the council that Twinsburg Chabad be granted conditional permission to use 1,500 square feet in a building on 9945 Vail Drive for religious purposes.
Rabbi Mendy Greenberg said the congregation had been looking for a permanent place to meet for some time after meeting in homes and public places. The building in question also houses a dental practice.
Greenberg said there is plenty of parking to meet community needs and some large gatherings could be held in different locations each year.
The panel also approved the minor subdivision of land in Cornerstone Business Park on East Aurora and Chamberlin Streets, which would include Phase 6 as 17.83 acres in Heavy Industrial Zone I-3.
The platform documents a large number of existing, new and vacant easements. Muter said she believes a Frito-Lay distribution center could take up at least part of the building being erected there.
Muter told panelists that the Community Improvement Corp. Heritage Development has chosen to develop areas around the old school. She added that a development agreement is currently under review and could be finalized by the end of 2021, with a concept plan to be presented next year.
Contact the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.