The Three Rivers City Commission Tuesday held the first of two scheduled public hearings to discuss proposed amendments to the city code that would allow marijuana facilities within city limits as special exception uses, and get further public input on the matter. Following a lengthy discussion and public comments from a handful of citizens, a thin majority of commissioners expressed support for the proposed changes.

Following a lengthy discussion Tuesday, Three Rivers City Commissioners set the first of what is expected to be at least two public hearings on amendments to the city code that would allow marijuana facilities within city limits as special exception uses. Commissioners had previously discussed the possibility of presenting the proposed amendments and ordinance language to the citizens of Three Rivers on a future ballot but according to Mayor Tom Lowry, City Attorney J. Patrick O’Malley determined it wasn’t possible from a legal standpoint.

The Three Rivers City Commission discussed the possibility Tuesday of an amendment to the city code that would allow marijuana facilities within city limits as special exception uses, and presenting those changes to the citizens of Three Rivers on a future ballot. Ultimately commissoners tabled the issue until its next meeting where City Attorney J. Patrick O’Malley is expected to present a legal opinion on how exactly the commission would do that.

Members of the Three Rivers City Commission on Tuesday approved a new “Main Street Commons” district in downtown Three Rivers. The vote allows next steps to move forward for a proposed, designated section of downtown Three Rivers, in which outdoor consumption of alcoholic beverages would be permitted. Such districts are possible under recent, new rules authorized by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). These rules, which are to be in effect for five years at the state level, are meant to provide businesses more service options amid pandemic-related restrictions on indoor occupancy.

Three Rivers City Commissioners Clayton Lyczynski and Alison Haigh questioned whether Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority Chair Andrew George should be reappointed during Tuesday’s commission meeting. Lyczynski cited George’s involvement in a suit filed against the city concerning a petition to place a marijuana ordinance on last November’s ballot, questioning George’s “integrity” and “desire to do what’s best for the city.”

The Three Rivers Library Board discussed the prospect of renting a room to the Three Rivers Women’s Club (TRWC) for the purpose of archival storage during its meeting on Tuesday, November 24. The board didn’t make a formal decision Tuesday, opting instead to weigh the particulars of a rental agreement and any liability the library might incur if it grants the club keyed access to a room in its basement.

Following a regular meeting of the Three Rivers City Commission Tuesday night, representatives of several city boards and staffs held a joint meeting and presentation on current planning and development activities in the city. The meeting is required going forward as part of something called the Redevelopment Ready Communities process (RRC), which is a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The RRC process is designed to help municipalities around the state improve their processes, laws, and planning documents to better facilitate and manage development.