Ordinance Changes Lay Groundwork For Medical Marijuana Operations
By Wayne WItkowski
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, August 30, 2018
DINGMANS FERRY – At its regular meeting last week, the Delaware Township Board of Supervisors opened the door for new business in the future by passing ordinance amendments allowing for a medical marijuana facility.
As for other new business prospects, supervisors did not have a specific update on the proposed Delaware Plaza project on Route 739, but project engineer Joseph Hudak of Kiley & Associates said for the groundbreaking “You might be looking at something for early next year.”
As for medical marijuana facilities, Delaware Township joins Lehman and Westfall Townships that have approved similar ordinances amendments.
After a brief public hearing in which Delaware Township Solicitor Thomas Farley highlighted details of the ordinances changes, there was no public comment or discussion, and the board unanimously approved the changes immediately afterward.
The changes to Ordinance 901 add definitions involving medical marijuana. Lengthy specifics on business requirements for growing and processing medical marijuana went into Ordinance 110.
Medical marijuana was first sold in the state in February, two years after it was legalized.
Under ordinance amendment 110.17 a medical marijuana grower/processor may only grow the crop in an indoor, enclosed and secure building and garage, which includes electronic locking, electronic surveillance and other features required by the Department of Health. It prohibits certain locations for growing it such as a trailer, mobile home and recreation vehicle. Any marijuana remnants must be properly disposed.
The amendment states that a medical marijuana dispensary also must be in an indoor, enclosed and secure building operating between 8am and 8pm, and must be legally registered with the state and hold a valid permit from the DOH. The dispensary must not exceed 3,000 square feet, including 500 square feet for storage and an indoor customer waiting area of at least 25 percent of the floor area.
It cannot have a drive-through service or outdoor seating or vending machines.
The entire facility must be at least 1,000 feet from the nearest residential district and from the nearest school, playground, child care facility or day care center, park, place of worship, library or camp. There must be three parking spots per 100 square feet of all public areas and outside lighting in compliance with zoning requirements.
Definitions under Ordinance 901 not only specify medical marijuana but terms such as caregiver, certified medical use, grower/processor, a medical marijuana organization or facility and a medical marijuana delivery vehicle office, which garages vehicles.
WEIS MARKETS AS ANCHOR STORE
As for the latest on the Delaware Plaza project, Hudak said, “It is ongoing. We have the permits. We are in communication with Weis Markets as the anchor store and in my last conversation with Weis, they’re finalizing details of what the inside would look like.”
The Weis Markets store would measure 63,000 square feet, and another 7,800 square feet is planned for a bank, a coffee and doughnut shop and a fast-food restaurant, said Hudak.
Also at the meeting, the board agreed to move $71,442 from the township Pension Fund into the General Fund.
It said two fo the six condemned cabins at Akenac Park would be used as a training exercise on Oct. 30 by the township’s volunteer fire department for firefighting drills. Another will be used in October and a fourth one in November for firefighting drills. The other two cabins will be demolished separately without fire department drills. The township has yet to receive a bid from any company to care away what’s left and will advertise for bids again.
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson relayed information from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation about its plans to service local roads, particularly repaving badly damaged State Route 2001/Milford Road from Silver Lake Road to the Lehman Township construction site by the winter. During the workshop before the regular meeting, the board also discussed PennDOT’s recommendation in its Wilson Hill Road Dam Inspection Report for the township to remove some trees and shrubs and cut back branches.
“Its small trees,” specified township road master Vince Flatt. “These are suggestions, not violations.”
The board agreed to advertise again for candidates to submit letters of interest to fill a vacancy on the township planning commission. No letters have been submitted yet. The commission meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month.
The board unanimously passed a motion to set aside the workshops for budget sessions before regular meetings on Sept. 19 and Oct. 17 and 31. Supervisor Jane Neufeld said there is nothing yet to report on the budget at this early stage. It also agreed to change the December meetings dates to the 5th and 19th, instead of the 12th and 26th because of the holidays… The board approved a $200 fee for township personnel to attend the annual Convention of Township Officials of Pike County on Oct. 5 at the Best Western at Hunt’s Landing in Westfall. It starts with speakers from the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, followed by legislative representatives and discussions from townships.
It also moved to invite new Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent Sula Jacobs to meet with the township supervisors.
The board announced the fifth annual Senior Citizens Expo to be held 9am to 1pm on Sept. 14 at the Dingmans Township Fire Hall of 680 Log Tavern Road.