Med pot ordinance moves forward

Chadds Ford Planning Commission members Wednesday night voted to send a medical marijuana dispensary ordinance to the supervisors for a full hearing. Commission members also voted to recommend approval for a Mercedes-Benz dealership. Both votes were unanimous.

According to township and Planning Commission solicitor Mike Maddren, case law and the Constitution require municipalities to have in their codes accommodation for all legal business activities to control where those businesses may be located. Medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania.

Provisions in the proposed ordinance include limiting dispensaries to the B and B-1 Business districts. There are two such areas in the township, and both are along Route 202 — one being north of State Farm Drive and the other north of Oakland Road. As previously reported, a dispensary could be allowed in the B district since pharmacies are permitted in that district.

Use of a building as a dispensary would be allowed with special exception and only for an applicant with a dispensary use permit granted by the commonwealth. All such businesses must have secure entrances and exits dedicated solely to that business. There may be no internal access to or from other businesses.

Additionally, no dispensary may be located within 200 feet of a residential dwelling, and the business must have perimeter privacy fencing six to eight feet high. No fumes may drift onto other properties.

The commission will next follow up with developing an ordinance for medical marijuana grow and production facilities. A preliminary discussion centered around where such a facility could be properly located, what zoning district, and whether an industrial grow site would be considered agricultural use even though it’s an indoor facility. Ideas bandied about during that conversation questioned whether a grow/production site would be better suited for the LI -Light Industrial district or the PBC-1 district. Currently, the only two PBC-1 areas are David Dodge and Painters Crossing shopping center.

Before the dispensary discussion and vote, planners voted to recommend approval for Mercedes-Benz of West Chester to move into Chadds Ford in the 23-plus acre area surrounded by Route 202, Oakland Road, and Brinton’s Bridge Road.

If the Board of Supervisors approves, there will be two buildings on the site of approximately 46,526 square feet with 674 parking spaces and a 10,000 square foot pedestrian plaza.

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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