TWINSBURG – City residents will get the opportunity to decide in the May 3 primary election whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to locate in the C-2 and C-3 commercial/business zoning districts as a conditionally permitted use.
Council on Jan. 11 approved the planning commission’s recommendation to amend Chapter 1151 of the codified ordinances, which would allow such facilities as a conditionally permitted use in those districts.
After a public hearing, Council also OK’d requesting the Summit County Board of Elections to place the zoning issue on the May 3 ballot, as required by the city’s charter.
The ballot language will read as follows: “Shall Ordinance 93-2021 amending Section 1151.05 of the codified ordinances of the city of Twinsburg be amended to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the C-2 and C-3 commercial districts by way of conditional use permit be adopted and approved?”
Mayor Ted Yates said a couple of people/firms have expressed interest in locating dispensaries here, and the state is making 73 additional licenses available.
Yates said his concern about allowing dispensaries is that it could lead to the facilities selling recreational marijuana if Ohio eventually legalizes that, and the city could end up in legal battles if it chooses to ban recreational sales.
He added the state gives cities the option to ban all marijuana sales if they so choose.
Council OK’d a memorandum of understanding with Teamsters Local 436, representing wastewater treatment plant employees, to establish a compensation path for recently hired members and lock in the annual wage adjustment for 2023 and 2024 at 2 percent, plus add Juneteenth as an official holiday.
Meanwhile, the mayor was authorized to enter into a contract with the legal defenders office of Summit County to provide representation for indigent defendants. The city will pay $170 per case opened in 2022.
Council allowed retired Police Chief Christopher Noga to keep his Glock service pistol as an honorarium for his 24 years of service to the city. He retired in September 2021.
Sheila Williams was reappointed to a four-year term as the city’s representative to the Summit County Combined General Health District board. The term expires Dec. 31, 2025.
Yates read a proclamation recognizing David Maistros for his 24 years as law director, and several Council reps praised him and wished him well in his new job as a city manager in California. Matthew J. Vazzana will succeed Maistros.
Police Chief Tom Mason reported the department handled 2,438 calls, cited or arrested 62 people and responded to 32 traffic accidents (one fatality) in December. For all of 2021, calls totaled 29,294 and citations/arrests totaled 773.
Mason said the overall call volume in 2021 was about 150 fewer than in pre-pandemic 2019.
Fire Chief Tim Morgan reported his crews responded to 379 calls in December. The overall number in 2021 was 3,417, a 15 percent increase over 2020.
The city recently was chosen as winner of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council’s 2021 Green Ribbon Award, which highlights the city’s efforts to promote energy efficiency.
The city will receive $2,500 to put toward energy efficiency initiatives. Out of 14 communities considered for the award, the city’s windows and doors project stood out to the judges for many reasons.
Community involvement and the city’s clear understanding of the environmental, economic and social aspects were cited as primary reasons.
When presenting the award at a recent Council meeting, NOPEC community outreach liaison Caitlin Albright said, “This award is given to a community that has proved its efforts to create a green community.”
City officials directed a special thank-you to city planner Lynn Muter for her work on the project.
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This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Medical marijuana dispensaries issue to go on May 3 ballot