Proposed retail marijuana shop passes through Oak Creek Planning Commission
November 20, 2014
Oak Creek — A proposed retail marijuana shop received unanimous approval from the Oak Creek Planning Commission on Wednesday night and now is one Town Board approval away from being the first recreational storefront in town.
Oak Creek does have one medical marijuana dispensary operating in town, and the application for another proposed recreational pot shop was tabled six weeks ago by the Town Board.
Stagestop 1 LLC’s application got the nod from Planning Commission members Ted Allen, Gerry Greenwood and Kieran O’Halloran in what proved to be a quick vote. The business now is up for Town Board approval at its Dec. 11 meeting.
Stagestop 1 co-manager Dan Simon was present Wednesday. Co-manager Steve Speer wasn’t in attendance.
In approving Stagestop 1’s application, Greenwood said the fate of a new retail marijuana business is more of a matter for the Town Board to ponder than the Planning Commission.
"This is something for the Town Board to deal with," Greenwood said Wednesday.
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A retail store is proposed to open at 100 W. Main St. in downtown Oak Creek in the building that formerly housed the Veterans of Foreign Wars and more recently Dovetail Designs.
Since its 2004 remodel, the building was used as "light industrial land use" with half of it serving as a workshop and the other half as a showroom.
In April 2014, the town of Oak Creek approved a land use change to convert a large chunk of the back part of the building into a marijuana cultivation facility operated by Park Range Recreationals LLC. Stagestop 1 owns the property but does not intend to operate the retail store should it pass. The company instead will enter into a lease with a licensee. Park Range Recreationals takes up the back 80 percent of the building, which is known as Unit B, and Stagestop 1 is eying the remaining 480-square-foot storefront, known as Unit A, to be a recreational pot shop.
Town Administrator Mary Alice Page-Allen said at Wednesday’s meeting that when Unit B was approved for a land use change, Unit A was reserved for "some other use," but there were no stipulations in Park Range Recreationals’ original approval for what it would be.
The town of Oak Creek staff report for Stagestop 1’s application acknowledges that "the previous application on this property stated that it was not the intention to use Unit A for this purpose (a retail pot shop) in the near future. However, over the last few months there has been a significant amount of feedback on other retail marijuana applications that storefronts are more appropriately located in the Main Street retail district."
The building is located in the town’s Performance District 1, where the majority of Oak Creek’s retail and commercial establishments are located along Main Street. Current Oak Creek land use code states that marijuana establishments are conditionally permitted to be in Performance Districts 1 and 7.
Only a few of the roughly 20 audience members spoke during Wednesday’s meeting. Joe Landry, owner of a property adjacent to Statestop 1’s building, said he has no issue with a retail marijuana store opening near his property.
"I think it will be good for the town," Landry said. "Investment brings investment. I feel only good will come from it."
Others, though, weren’t as sure.
Audience member Bill Auer said he thought there has been a rush to market recreational marijuana businesses in Oak Creek. Carol Villa, who owns property across the street from the proposed retail marijuana store, suggested that town authorities decide exactly how many marijuana businesses Oak Creek wants.
Stagestop 1’s application projects the shop’s first-year revenues would be about $350,000 averaging 12 to 15 customers per day.
Because the business would be located on Main Street in a building that once housed a retail business, and because its staff would be very small, the applicants don’t think parking will be an issue.
Stagestop 1 agreed to have discreet signage on the front and side of the building. The word "marijuana" wouldn’t be on its sign, nor would a pot leaf logo be used.