City of Morenci Briefer on Borchardt Brothers Market Sale
On Monday, March 8, 2021, the City of Morenci’s Administration was made aware that the Borchardt Brothers Market building would be sold on Thursday, March 11, 2021 to a group out of the Detroit-area that would like to have marijuana-related land uses in that building. The City of Morenci Administration has been informed that the purchase is a speculative purchase in the event that marijuana-related land uses would be allowed for that building.
Question and Answer on Rezoning / Allowance of Building for Marijuana-related Land Uses
Question: Is this building or any other downtown building zoned for marijuana-related land uses?
Answer: The answer to this question is NO. The City of Morenci’s Administration has been made aware that this is a speculative purchase in the hopes that the minds of the Morenci City Council and Morenci Planning Commission change and rezone this building for such land uses.
Question: Where are marijuana-related land uses allowed?
Answer: Marijuana-related land uses are only allowed in the eastern commercial district of the community and the Skyline Industrial Park. No other locations in the City of Morenci.
Question: What is the process to rezone the downtown for marihuana-related land uses?
Answer: It is quite a lengthy process to rezone the downtown for marihuana-related land uses. In order for this to occur, the following must happen:
- Introduction of Zoning Ordinance: A zoning ordinance must originate with the Morenci Planning Commission or be referred to the Planning Commission by the City Council.
- A properly noticed public hearing must to be held by the Planning Commission on the zoning amendment before the Planning Commission can vote on its recommendation.
- After the public hearing the Planning Commission votes on whether to recommend approval or denial of the requested amendment.
- After the Planning Commission makes its recommendation the matter is sent to the Morenci City Council which has the ultimate say on whether the amendment is approved or denied.
From the time of introduction of a zoning ordinance to its final passage is about three (3) to four (4) months. This is not a fast process to change land use. No zoning ordinance has been introduced, nor is a zoning ordinance under consideration at this time.
Question: What types of marijuana-related land uses are allowed in the City of Morenci?
Answer: The City of Morenci allows adult-use and medical marihuana land uses that are growers, processors, retailers, provisioning centers, secure transporters, and safety compliance centers.
Marijuana consumption lounges are not allowed in the City of Morenci, although, at the request of two (2) Morenci Planning Commissioners there was a study committee put together to look at this possibility. No decision had been made either way, though.
Question: Isn’t the City of Morenci limited in the number of permits that can be issued for these types of land uses?
Answer: Yes, the City of Morenci is limited in the number of permits that can be issued for these types of land uses and the Morenci City Council reserves the right to change those number at any time. The City of Morenci currently has issued five (5) permits for retailers and provisioning centers and this is the cap that the Morenci City Council established for such. For more to be available, the Morenci City Council would have to change the ordinance on the amount of permits available. The Morenci City Council has previously decided not to do so.
Question: But what about the downtown? Why all of a sudden are people speculating on the downtown?
Answer: There has been some discussion amongst the Morenci Planning Commission about required updates to the Master Plan. In these discussions, there is the possibility of a potential combined Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Morenci Planning Commission to discuss land use in the downtown. The groups did agree to discuss marijuana-related uses in the downtown, however, the real focus being on what is in the Master Plan for future land use in the downtown area.
Question: How do we voice our support or opposition to these land uses in the downtown?
Answer: Many Morenci City Councilors and Morenci Planning Commissioners have expressed to the City of Morenci’s Administration that they would like to hear from residents. Those members are urging them to contact them. A list of those members is the following:
Morenci City Council
Mayor Sean Seger City Councilor Jeff Lampson
City Councilor Diane Molitierno City Councilor Dave Lonis
City Councilor Kandice Jarrell City Councilor Jerome Bussell
City Councilor Sandra Emmons
Morenci Planning Commission
Chairperson Art Erbskorn Commissioner Chipper Connin
Commissioner Jeff Bell Commissioner Ron Apger
Commissioner Jerome Bussell Commissioner Kathy Schiermyer
Commissioner Sean Seger
Contact information for all members is on the City of Morenci website or you may call the City of Morenci at (517) 458 – 6828 for such.