Thursday, February 23, 2017

Is the Pottstown Metropolitan Region Going to Pot?

Photo by Evan Brandt

Montgomery County Planner Donna Fabry explains how Pennsylvania has been divided into six zones to ensure that the first state licenses for growing medical marijuana are distributed evenly across the commonwealth during a presentation Wednesday night to the Pottstown Metropolitan Area Regional Planning Committee.

I literally cannot throw a stone in any direction this week without stumbling across a story about medical marijuana.

It was discussed Tuesday night at the Upper Pottsgrove Commissioners meeting AND at the Limerick Supervisors meeting, and again last night at the regional planning committee.

A bad picture of the inside of a grow facility from Fabry's

presentation to the regional planners.
It will be discussed tomorrow night at the Lower Pottsgrove Commissioners meeting, according to this post in the Sanatoga Post.

I hope I'm not getting paranoid. I hear that can happen sometimes.

Anyway, given that this is the open period for applying for the two state permits that will be awarded in the seven-county southeast region, I guess it makes sense.

But they sure do seem to want to be located in the greater Pottstown area.

The discussion last night centered around zoning and whether the eight
Pennsylvania will not allow dispensaries here to have

cute pot-related names like this one in Montclair, N.J
No sense of humor. Darn Quakers.
municipalities that comprise the regional planning committee want to zone for both the grow facilities and state-licensed dispensaries individually or on a regional basis.

No consensus was reached other than to go back to their respective boards and get their input before making a decision.

Also on the docket was discussion of building proposals made in Montgomery County in the past year.

Long story short? They are up from the low around 2010 during the housing crisis.

Lower Pottsgrove and New Hanover had the most housing units proposed in the region, thanks to Sanatoga Green, Spring Valley Farms and the Town Center plan in New Hanover.

The market for age-restricted housing seems to have collapsed, Realtors can't sell the units. Most seem to prefer age-targeted, which lacks the legal restrictions to keep the young-uns out, according to Montgomery County Planner Donna Fabry.

And the group also discussed the idea of having a regional code of appeals board. The Universal Building Code requires townships to have them, but many don't.

And, when the Owen J. Roberts School District briefly challenged a decision by East Coventry Township for the construction of a new elementary school, the township had to scramble to put one together.

Douglass (Mont.) has one and has used it several times, said Township Manager Pete Hiryak, but most other towns don't and are interested in the idea.

Berks County maintains one that local municipalities can join if they wish, said Montgomery County John Cover, who promised to draft a proposal for one the Pottstow-area municipalities can look over.

Other than that, it's time to scroll through those world-famous Tweets!

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