Neighbors disagree over East Lansing provisioning center plans

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- Some people in East Lansing want to stop a medical marijuana provisioning center from opening up near them.

The center would be located at the former East Lansing Department of Public Works site at Park Lake and Merritt Roads.

Some neighbors are indifferent while, for others, the development is raising some red flags.

On Tuesday, the East Lansing City Council approved a purchase agreement with a buyer, Kodiac Landarc., LLC. The site was one of four the city designated as potential spots for medical marijuana provisioning centers last year. The property was recently auctioned off on eBay and Kodiac Landarc., LLC, was the highest bidder.

Erik Altmann, mayor pro-tem of the City of East Lansing, said the city is always looking to welcome new businesses.

"People want access to medical marijuana. This makes it a little bit easier for them to get access. They don't have to go to Lansing and don't have to travel quite as far," he said.

But homeowner Joan Nowinski, who lives adjacent to the property, said she's concerned about the development for a number of reasons.

"We have a number of schools and retirement centers and single family homes as well as rentals. I just don't believe that that business is appropriate for that property," she said.

News 10 did talk to other homeowners in the area who either weren't aware of the proposed development or who didn't mind the idea.

"As long as it's a legal business, I have no problem with it. It really doesn't matter to me one way or the other. They have licensing and regulatory affairs that handle all that kind of business. So I kind of put my faith in that," said Alex Hughes, a homeowner in East Lansing.

Nowinski intends to make her voice heard to the city council.

"Another concern is that kind of business in this kind of area could have a profound effect on our property values," she said. "I will definitely be attending the March 26th meeting and hopefully they'll start listening."

The buyer still has to go through an approval process with the city. They'll have to submit a site plan, go through public hearings and file a special use permit application.

The East Lansing Planning Commission and City Council will also review the plans.

The city might consider expanding areas where dispensaries are allowed if things go smoothly with this one.

Here is a link to the city's press release regarding the purchase agreement approval.