Zon­ing amended for med­i­cal pot pro­cess­ing

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Matt Free­man

If you want to pro­duce med­i­cal mar­i­juana, there’s a place in this area where it’s a le­gal use of prop­erty.

If you want to pro­duce med­i­cal mar­i­juana in East Marl­bor­ough, you’ve got a place in the town­ship where it’s a le­gal use of prop­erty.

At their monthly meet­ing re­cently the town­ship su­per­vi­sors took up the ques­tion of zon­ing or­di­nance amend­ments that in­cluded pro­vid­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana pro­duc­tion in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s limited in­dus­trial dis­trict.

Plan­ning Com­mis­sion Chair Cuyler Walker, who helped draft the or­di­nance, said once the state made med­i­cal mar­i­juana pro­duc­tion le­gal, the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were re­quired to pro­vide for the use in their zon­ing.

“It seemed pru­dent to ad­dress it so it can also be ap­pro­pri­ately reg­u­lated,” Walker said.

The zon­ing change specif­i­cally pro­vides for creation of a grow­ing and pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tion, Walker said. It does not rec­og­nize such an op­er­a­tion as an agri­cul­tural use. And the or­di­nance change pro­vided for no sale of any mar­i­juana prod­uct in the town­ship, Walker added.

There were no ques­tions about the zon­ing change from any board mem­bers or the pub­lic, and it was ap­proved unan­i­mously.

The su­per­vi­sors also unan­i­mously ap­proved a change to the zon­ing or­di­nance to in­clude strength­ened ri­par­ian buf­fer pro­vi­sions based on a new model from the Brandy­wine Con­ser­vancy, and added a prop­erty on West Street Road to the agri­cul­tural se­cu­rity area.

The su­per­vi­sors also ap­proved a con­di­tional use order re­quested by the Long­wood Land Bank LLC to build a pro­posed au­to­mated car-wash fa­cil­ity at the cor­ner of Onix Drive and School­house Road.

Be­fore they ap­proved it, Board of Su­per­vi­sors Chair­man Richard Han­num Jr. read a list of re­quire­ments for the project, many of which had to do with screen­ing it from view. The su­per­vi­sors said the build­ing would not be vis­i­ble from Route 1, and the ac­tual op­er­a­tions would take place in­side it, out of sight of the pub­lic.

The su­per­vi­sors briefly dis­cussed a draft bud­get for 2018 pre­pared by town­ship Man­ager Lau­rie Prysock. Su­per­vi­sor John Weer noted that the town­ship’s as­sessed val­u­a­tion had risen by sev­eral mil­lion dol­lars, with a pro­jected in­crease in rev­enue of about 6.2 per­cent.

Han­num said he wanted to study the bud­get more closely be­fore he com­mented on it. The bud­get would be ad­ver­tised and posted on the town­ship web­site within a few days, he said, and the su­per­vi­sors would take it up at their December meet­ing.

Su­per­vi­sor John Sarro gave a re­port about the town­ship’s safety com­mit­tee. He said he was still wait­ing for a re­vised pro­posal from Traf­fic Plan­ning & De­sign, the town­ship’s traf­fic en­gi­neers, on ways to in­crease pedes­trian safety in Unionville.

Some at­ten­dees said Sarro should put more pres­sure on the firm to get them to move faster, and com­plained about traf­fic prob­lems in the area and their be­lief the prob­lems could be ad­dressed sooner.

Both Sarro and Han­num re­sponded that they were res­i­dents too and shared the concerns, but such ef­forts in­volved var­i­ous le­gal and tech­ni­cal hur­dles that took time to re­solve.

The su­per­vi­sors dis­cussed var­i­ous is­sues in the con­tin­u­ing con­struc­tion of Unionville Park. They specif­i­cally dis­cussed one area where park vis­i­tors could, with a great deal of dif­fi­culty ma­neu­ver­ing be­cause of the brushy, wet ter­rain, wan­der onto pri­vate prop­erty. Town­ship En­gi­neer Jim Hat­field said clos­ing up the fence in the area was com­pli­cated by an ease­ment there.

Walker said the ter­rain was a nat­u­ral bar­rier, and he and Hat­field said putting an un­ob­tru­sive sign nearby to warn vis­i­tors not to leave park prop­erty was a rea­son­able so­lu­tion to be­gin with, since the sit­u­a­tion had not yet cre­ated a prob­lem.

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