Milford Township preps for legal cannabis

Milford. The planning board reviewed an example ordinance that the township could eventually adopt, but will wait until the state makes a decision before proceeding.

| 14 Feb 2024 | 03:44

In light of Governor Josh Shapiro’s call for the eventual legalization of recreational cannabis use in Pennsylvania, the Milford Township Planning Board on February 8 briefly discussed how to handle regulation locally. The discussion was part of a hybrid workshop meeting.

Board members thought the best route to go would be to regulate every aspect of the industry at the same time: from legal dispensaries to growing operations. As an example, board members reviewed the cannabis ordinance drafted by Delaware County to see if they may use it as a guide in the future. If so, they may then dispense the ordinance to the township’s other municipal leaders.

However, some board members quickly pointed out aspects of the example ordinance that may be contested, including a stipulation that dispensaries not be located within 1,000 feet of “any residential zoning boundary line” or schools or daycare centers. Board members questioned the reasoning, suggesting that cannabis use may be so commonplace that restricting it from children’s eyes might not be necessary. Such buffer zones have also been seen in some communities that prohibit liquor stores or gambling operations, for example, from being within a certain distance from churches and schools.

The Delaware County ordinance was specific to medicinal cannabis, but could be used for recreational dispensaries as well.

Of course, it is early in the legal cannabis debate, so board members opted to retain the Delaware County ordinance as an example, but to not act until the state makes a decision.

Short-term rentals

The board also briefly discussed whether to tackle short-term rentals, but then opted against it. During the meeting, it was noted that the township had received virtually no call for the drafting of short-term rental-specific ordinances, suggesting that it wasn’t that big of an issue just yet.

The board members also noted that a short-term rental business would most likely be part of a conditional use permit anyway. The township also has regulations on “housekeeping cottages,” which are essentially regulated as a short-term rental, just without the terminology. In the township’s zoning ordinance, such cottages are defined as “small detached dwelling units rented out for occasional use on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.”

The next regular Milford Township Planning Board meeting will be held on February 27.