BENTON TOWNSHIP — Benton Township agreed to sell three adjacent properties Tuesday to a company that plans to turn it into a medical marijuana grow facility.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, trustees voted to sell three parcels along Paw Paw Avenue to NoBo Michigan LLC for $320,000.
Located within the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Paw Paw Avenue in Benton Township, the combined parcels are just over 18 acres.
Treasurer Debbie Boothby said the company approached the township earlier this summer about the property and whether it could be used for a medical marijuana grow facility.
“As soon as the sale closes, they want to start as soon as possible,” Boothby said. “They provided some pictures of other grow facilities that they have to give us an idea of what it would look like.”
The company has not submitted plans to the township yet, but Boothby said she anticipates the company pulling building permits as soon as possible.
Boothby said the property has been vacant as long as she can remember.
Randy’s Recycling bought the property in 2009 and attempted to use the space to install a “shredder.” According to Herald-Palladium archives, in 2010, the company sought a special use permit that would allow the use of a shredder that could scrap “a few thousand” cars a day.
Boothby said those plans were denied and the township ended up buying it for about $275,000.
“We didn’t want it there so the township purchased it,” Boothby said. “We wanted to be very careful of what actually went there because there are neighborhoods there now.”
The properties are zoned heavy industrial. The timing of the sale coincided with another item that was approved at Tuesday’s meeting.
Trustees held a second reading of an ordinance amendment to a medical marijuana ordinance that was originally approved in July.
By passing the ordinance amendment on Tuesday, the board added a handful of facilities – which included the addition of grow and processing facilities – to be considered for special use provisions in three zoning districts under the ordinance.
Among those zoning districts was heavy industrial, which the three parcels are zone under.
“Getting some (tax) revenue from the property is always good,” Supervisor Kevin White said after the meeting. “Jobs would be created through this as well.”
NoBo Michigan broke ground in July on property at 900 Alreco Road on the first medical marijuana facility in Benton Harbor, which will serve as the company’s Midwest headquarters.
Bill Stohler, director of NoBo Michigan, has previously stated that one way or another, they will have the facility open in April 2020.
No officials from NoBo Michigan were present at Benton Township’s board meeting.
While the board adopted a proposed medical marijuana ordinance in a July board meeting, it also opted out of the recreational marijuana side until the state finalizes the language needed to regulate it.
Sixty-four percent of township residents voted last November in favor of Proposal 1, which allows recreational use and sale under certain conditions.
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