Kalamazoo County community upset after medical marijuana grow facility proposal

Kalamazoo County community upset after medical marijuana grow facility proposal.

Anger and outrage in a small Kalamazoo County community after people catch wind of a proposed medical marijuana grow facility.

Newschannel 3's Anna Giles reported that the Ross Township planning commission took heat during the Monday commission meeting from dozens of people that want to see the plans for a grow facility shut down.

People yelled, questioned and cried during the commission meeting on Monday over a proposed marijuana grow facility. The applicant for the grow facility has not submitted official plans.

Ross Township opted in to the state medical marijuana laws approved in 2016 that allow the grow facilities and people accused the township of not being transparent about that decision.

Michelle Labedis said, "All of this has happened kind of underneath the table.”

People in Ross Township united on Monday night against a proposed medical marijuana grow facility they feel could cause harm to the environment.

They demanded changes to an ordinance that township leaders approved in 2017 allowing grow facilities to operate in the area.

"I think we need to be reminded of what the Ross Township mission statement is: to provide a safe environment in which to live, are you doing that?”

Ross Township Planning Commission Chairman Jim Lauderdale explained to the crowd that someone did start proposals for a grow facility in the township, but there is no official application yet.

He said when a plan is submitted it will go through intense scrutiny.

Lauderdale said, “No facility will be located within any school or public playground.”

That was just one of many regulations Lauderdale listed that did not satisfy an audience concerned about how a facility might affect water quality and availability.

Lauderdale said, “At the present time, the preliminary discussion we've seen they are going to use less water than you do in your bath tub.”

Judy Bradley was one of many who feel laws involving grow facilities have been kept under the table in Ross Township.

Bradley said, “I had no notification of this. We live within half a mile. Now we are going to have that just across the street from us dumping pesticides in the water and we are going to have to live with that."

Lauderdale said, "I guarantee that what I've said will have very little impact on 45 and two thirds percent of you in this room because you want to attack.”

Planning commission officials told people they need to take their concerns to the township board if they want to see an ordinance changed.

People who came out on Monday said their fight isn't over.

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