Hartford planners recommend medical marijuana grow operation

Don Campbell / HP staff The Hartford City Hall is pictured Nov. 17, 2017.

HARTFORD — The Hartford Planning Commission was busy this week recommending the medical marijuana grow operation at the Hartford Speedway and the rezoning for a 111-acre commercial development. 

City Manager Yemi Akinwale said the Planning Commission recommended the approval of the site plan to the City Commission from K.O.K Inc. for a medical marijuana grow facility. 

The next step is to have the city attorney review the application, Akinwale said. The City Commission would consider the application at its meeting Sept. 24 if the attorney recommends it. 

K.O.K Inc. applied to the city in June. The grow operation would sit on about 5 acres of empty property already zoned light industrial at the Hartford Speedway.

Medical marijuana growing facilities in Hartford must be on at least 5 acres and in areas zoned light industrial or agriculture, according to Hartford’s medical marijuana ordinance, which was passed last November.

The ordinance allows for one of each type of facility in the city. So if the City Commission approves it, no other grow operation would be allowed as long as this one was in business.  

Planning commissioners approved rezoning a property along South Center Street/County Road 687 from agriculture to commercial/general business. 

Akinwale said the piece of land, owned by John Falker Jr., has been a pickle farm for the last several years and there is now an opportunity for its development. 

Falkner said he is looking at commercial development in the front of the property and residential developments in the rear.

No major concerns about the rezoning were brought by audience members during a public hearing, so the Planning Commission recommended its approval to the City Commission. 

Akinwale said the Planning Commission is still waiting for final plans from Dollar General on how it will rebuild after a fire tore through it in May. He said the exterior of the building is expected to be completed before winter, so that they can work on the building interior during winter.

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