ShareThis Page
Hampton/Shaler

Medical marijuana ordinance passed by Hampton Council

| Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, 12:30 p.m.
File photo

Hampton Township Council passed several ordinances at its Nov. 28 voting meeting, including the medical marijuana ordinance.

Public hearings were advertised and held for this and all ordinances.

The medical marijuana ordinance is being addressed by municipalities and communities throughout the state in response to Pennsylvania passing the Medical Marijuana Act 2016, Act 16, said Martin Orban, land use administrator for Hampton Township.

Several modifications required by Allegheny County Planning Agency have been made since its previous draft, such as references to buffer yards per the township’s zoning ordinance, and adding language from the state’s medical marijuana act, among other editing items, said Orban.

The Hampton ordinance would apply to dispensary and grower applicants. There have been no applicants for such in Hampton as of yet, said Orban

Hampton can address where a dispensary and grower would be located in regards to zoning. It’s the state that regulates how the business is handled.

“You can’t handle a marijuana business any different than a pharmacy,” said Orban, referencing potential dispensaries.

Like pharmacies, dispensaries can be zoned in a neighborhood and/or commercial zoning district. The ordinance, which can be found via the township website, provides for certain regulations regarding location.

Growers may be zoned in an industrial district.

Medical offices and clinics are currently permitted in highway commercial as well as pharmacies, which also are permitted in neighborhood commercial, according to an earlier township strategic planning meeting. Manufacturers are currently permitted in light and heavy Industrial zoning districts. Agricultural operations, including greenhouses and similar structures, are currently permitted in Conservation B districts.

As far as making additional regulations to the ordinance, Orban noted municipalities can make regulations more strict than state legislations, but just not less.

Township council also voted approval of a fireworks ordinance at last week’s meeting. Orban said this is a new ordinance to the township as the state recently passed that consumer fireworks can be sold in the state. Thus, municipalities are able to create their own ordinance.

Regulations of both permanent and temporary consumer fireworks facilities are addressed in the ordinance.

A more stringent version of the township’s forestry ordinance was also passed. Among other provisions, this is meant to preserve, protect, replace and properly maintain trees within the Township of Hampton to aid in the stabilization of soil by the prevention of erosion and sedimentation.

Orban said recent public comment on forestry and timber harvesting was taken into account and township’s legal representative provided amendments in regard to that.

Specifically, it included “if any application is submitted … within three years of the date of approval of a timber harvesting permit under this ordinance, then the application under the applicable zoning and land use ordinance shall be reviewed as if the property was in the same condition as it were immediately prior to the approval of the timber harvesting permit.”

The ordinance also provides “the right to harvest trees is exercised with due regard for the protection of the physical property of adjacent landowners,” among other things, according to the ordinance.

Finally, a stormwater ordinance management plan was also passed, which is a mandated update of the stormwater ordinance by Allegheny County, said Orban.

All ordinances can be accessed via the township website at www.hampton-pa.org.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me