Mitchell City Council to decide fate of two medical marijuana dispensaries seeking variances
The council will consider variances for a proposed dispensary in downtown Mitchell and Juniper Avenue in south Mitchell
MITCHELL — The Mitchell City Council will reconsider granting several variances on Monday for a pair of medical marijuana entrepreneurs who are seeking to open dispensaries in Mitchell.
After being tabled for the past two months, Emmett Reistroffer, of Sioux Falls, and Donald Livesay Jr., of Mitchell, are expecting the council to make a final decision on their variance requests during Monday’s 6 p.m. meeting at City Hall. While the city’s medical cannabis ordinances were recently tweaked to ease several restrictions that were put in place, both Reistroffer and Livesay Jr. will be heading into Monday’s meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation to deny their variances.
The most notable change to the ordinance that the Mitchell City Council recently approved in early February is eliminating the right of ways from being factored into the distance between two medical marijuana dispensaries. The city’s ordinance states a dispensary cannot be within 1,000 feet of another dispensary.
When measuring the distance from another cannabis dispensary, the city previously factored in the rights of way – which mainly consist of major roadways like Interstate 90 and nearby highways. Doing away with the right of ways from the distance between dispensaries paves the way for Native Nations Cannabis to get their proposed dispensary location at 1620 S. Burr St. approved.
For Reistroffer, his variance will not be affected by the ordinance changes that the council approved. Reistroffer, owner of Sioux Falls-based Genesis Farms, is seeking to open a medical cannabis dispensary inside of a building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street in downtown Mitchell. However, the proposed location is within 300 feet from a religious institution. Under the regulations in the city’s ordinance, a dispensary cannot be located within 300 feet of a religious institution, unless a variance request is approved.
Several nearby property owners are also opposed to Reistroffer’s dispensary location, with one Mitchell resident pointing out that Big Friend Little Friend is attached to the same building that Reistroffer is seeking to open a dispensary inside.
During the recent Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Reistroffer said the city of Sioux Falls recently enacted an ordinance that removed the buffer zone for medical cannabis establishments that are close to churches located in a central business district like downtown Mitchell.
Livesay Jr.’s proposed dispensary location at 501 E. Juniper Ave. falls within 1,000 feet from another dispensary that was approved prior to his application. The city’s ordinance states a dispensary cannot be within 1,000 feet from another dispensary, which is why Livesay Jr. is required to secure a variance to open.
Livesay Jr.’s plan to open a dispensary at the Juniper Avenue building has also sparked opposition from nearby property owners, who have cited traffic concerns and potential public safety issues.
Doug Dailey, a local attorney representing several Mitchell residents who own property near the proposed Juniper Avenue dispensary, previously said the location would create a concentration of medical cannabis dispensaries in the south side of Mitchell considering there are three dispensaries proposed to open in south Mitchell. Dailey emphasized the city’s ordinance was partly put in place to avoid concentrations of marijuana establishments.
During the recent Mar. 13 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Dailey suggested Livesay Jr. search for another location due to the concentration of cannabis dispensaries his proposed building is in.
“We don’t believe that there has been any showing of hardship. In this particular situation, Mr. Livesay has plenty of other options,” Dailey said. “The best thing to do, we think, would be to find another location.”
As of now, there are three dispensaries that have been approved to operate in Mitchell. A Missouri-based medical cannabis company’s plan to open a dispensary at the former Runnings building along Burr Street, and Jordan Raftis’ plan to open a dispensary in a strip mall near Walmart were the first two dispensaries to secure approval from the council. Native Nations Cannabis is the most recent dispensary that cleared its obstacles to open a dispensary along South Burr Street.
Thus far, none of the approved dispensaries have officially opened.
The following items will be considered as part of the consent agenda:
- Approve the minutes and reports from the following meetings: Mar. 7 City Council meeting; Feb. 28 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
- Approve department reports.
- Approve 2021 annual staff report.
- Approve special event application for Corn Palace Shrine Circus, which will take place April 24-28.
- Approve special event permit for Big Friend Little Friend Annual Street Festival on May 28.
- Approve request to apply for Mid-Continent Foundation grant.
- Approve request to apply for AARP grant.
- Declare three Xybix dispatch consoles as surplus property to be sold to the Meade County Communication Center at the Meade County Sheriff’s Office in Sturgis.
- Approve the following raffle permits: Kiwanis Club of MItchell with the drawing to be held on April 23, 2022; Davison County Democrats with the drawing to be held on May 23; Big Friend Little Friend of the Mitchell Area with the drawing to be held on July 18; Pheasant Country with the drawing to be held on Oct. 14.
- Approve listing of active city volunteers.
- Set the date for the following alcohol license hearings: Corn Palace Shrine Club application for a Special Liquor License located at the Masonic Hall on April 9, 2022 for a corn hole tournament; Corn Palace Shrine Club’s application for a Special Liquor License located at the Masonic Hall on May 7, 2022 for a Wedding Dance; Corn Palace Shrine Club’s application for a Special Liquor License located at the Masonic Hall on June 4, 2022 for a Wedding Dance; Corn Palace Shrine Club’s application for a Special Liquor License located at the Masonic Hall on June 11, 2022 for the Shrine Club Open House; Corn Palace Shrine Club’s application for a Special Liquor License located at the Masonic Hall on July 29, 2022 for the Lakeview Golf Banquet; Corn Palace Shrine Club’s application for a Special Liquor License located at the The Masonic Hall on Aug. 6, 2022 for the 2002 Class Reunion; Corn Palace Shrine Club’s application for a Special Liquor License located at the The Masonic Hall on Sept. 10-11, 2022 for a Wedding Dance; Corn Palace Shrine Club’s application for a Special Liquor License located at the Masonic Hall on Sept. 23-24, 2022 for a Wedding Dance; Corn Palace Shrine Club’s application for a Special Liquor License located at the Masonic Hall for Oct. 1-2, 2022 for a Wedding Dance.
- Approve gas and fuel quotes.
- Approve Mar. 21 pay estimates.
- Approve bills, payroll, salary adjustments, new employee hires, authorization of recurring payments and other expenses.
- Recite pledge of allegiance and receive invocation from Salvation Army.
- Hear citizens input.
- Meet as Board of Adjustment.
- Set the date for the following hearings to be held on April 4: Robert Kummer, of Infrastructure Design Group, Inc. representing Cory Marek, has applied for a variance permit for a minimum front yard setback of 9 feet vs. 25 feet for an existing dwelling located at 710 N. Kittridge St., legally described as Lot A in Block 2 of Robert Wilkinson’s Addition to the city of Mitchell. The property is currently legally described as Lots 5 & 6 in Block 2 & south half of vacated Eighth Ave. and north half of Vacated Alley Abutting of Robert Wilkinson’s Addition to the City of Mitchell. The property is zoned R4 High Density Residential District; Robert D. Kummer of Infrastructure Design Group, Inc. representing Larry Weisser, has applied for a variance permit for the following: Lot A: Minimum front yard setback of 19’ vs 25’ for an existing dwelling. Lot B: Minimum front yard setback of 19 feet vs. 25 feet for an existing dwelling, a minimum side yard corner setback of 12.2 feet vs. 20 feet for an existing dwelling, minimum lot width of 67.06 feet vs. 70 feet and minimum lot area of 9,580 square feet vs. 10,000 square feet. The property is located at 1510 and 1512 E. First Ave., legally described as Lots A & B in Block 10 of S.T. Greene’s Addition, a replat of Lots 10, 11 and 12 in Block 10 of S.T. Greene’s Addition to the City of Mitchell. The property is zoned R2 Single Family Residential District; Carey and Darlene Buhler’s application for a variance for an attached garage and accessory building combination of 2,160 square feet vs. 2,000 square feet and maximum height for an accessory building of 30 feet vs. 22 feet; located at 600 Greenridge Lane, legally described as lot 3, block 2, Greenridge Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The said real property is zoned R1 Single Family Residential District.
- Approve special event permit for Lost and Found Advocates 5K run on April 9.
- Approve amendment to Agreement No. A2021-14, HDR’s risk and resiliency assessment.
- Award bid for Fifth and Ninth Avenue reconstruction project.
- Award bid for Dry Run Creek lighting project.