Concord to advertise for marijuana amendments

Concord Township Council has authorized advertising a proposed zoning ordinance amendment to accommodate a state-approved marijuana dispensary in the township. A separate ordinance would accommodate a possible grow site.

Council also authorized the engineer to proceed with engineering plans to improve two intersections in the township. And to council now has two vice presidents.

Dominic Pileggi, who was re-elected council president during the re-organization meeting prior to the regular meeting, stressed that advertising the zoning change that would allow a medical marijuana dispensary is compliant with state law.

“Concord Township, along with other townships throughout the state are being approached under state law to allow for marijuana dispensary facilities,” he said. Pileggi further said that Concord was approached regarding two sites, one on Route 202 and another on Route 1.

As reported last week, Pennsylvania granted GTI Pennsylvania a license for a marijuana dispensary in the Concord/Chadds Ford area. The state previously granted GTI Pennsyania a license to grow. Medical marijuana is legal in the Pennsylvania and municipalities are required to have zoning laws in place to accommodate all legal activity.

While such a dispensary is similar to a pharmacy, it “doesn’t fit the pharmacy profile,” Pileggi said. Because of that, a dispensary must get special exception. The proposed ordinances will go to both the county and township planning commissions as well as Concord’s Zoning Hearing Board before they return to the council for a public hearing and final vote, he added.

Solicitor Hugh Donaghue reminded council there are two separate ordinances, one for a dispensary and the other for a grow site.

The vote approving advertising the ordinances passed by a 5-1 vote. Council Member Marge Franke was absent from the meeting and the lone no vote came from  Tom Mahoney.

Council also voted to authorize township engineer Nate Cline to begin engineering for the improvements of two intersections — Naaman’s Creek Road and Route 202, and the Concord and Smithbridge Road intersection. Pileggi said the goal is to provide extra left turn lanes at both intersections. If the township does the engineering, he said, it would be easier to get grants from PennDOT for the actual construction.

Currently, there is a single left turn lane on southbound Route 202 at Naaman’s Creek Road. The work would eventually lead to a double left turn lane. The goal for the intersection of Concord and Smithbridge is to put in dedicated left turn lanes in all for directions.

During the state-mandated reorganization meeting, Pileggi was re-elected the president and John Gillespie vice president. But Council added a second vice president position. That went to John Crossan who just finished his first year on council.

Pileggi said having a second vice president would be important, especially this year since Gillespie likes to travel and he, Pileggi, expects to have some surgeries this year that would have him miss several meetings.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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