MUSKEGON, Mich. — This week Muskegon City Commissioners are expected to approve the sale of 3.4 acres of land at the Seaway Industrial Park to a North Muskegon investor for $292,000.

The undeveloped land has been on the market for years without receiving any significant interest from developers.

In 2018, the property was included in Muskegon's medical marijuana overlay district resulting in the property immediately becoming more valuable, as are other vacant properties in the district.

"We've seen a lot more interest in them since it was incorporated into the overlay zone," said Mike Franzak, Muskegon Planning Director.

Just two years ago, buildings and land in what became the medical marijuana overlay district could have been purchased far cheaper.

"We're getting calls from all over the state and even out of state (from people) that are interested in the properties," Franzak said.

The North Muskegon investor in line to buy the property at the corner of Park Street and Young Avenue told city leaders he'll build a medical marijuana grow facility.

Neighbors Georgia Guy and Lucy Purnell say they'd like to see something done with the land that's covered in tall weeds.

"They use to cut it, but they have not cut it for the last couple of years," Purnell said. 

"It looks terrible," Guy added.

Properties inside the medical marijuana overlay district are pre-approved to be used to grow, sell, process or transport medical marijuana.

"Seems like they are bringing it to my doorstep, and that's what I'm not so fond of," Purnell said.

City leaders in Muskegon are now working to draft the overlay district for recreational marijuana. Like medical marijuana, the district will clear the way for developers to build or renovate facilities to grow, process, transport and sell recreational marijuana.

"Staff has a plan that we developed and we'll be pitching that to the City Commission," Franzak said. "We're looking for a little bit of direction on how to move that forward."

Franzak expects the recreational marijuana overlay district will be ready for a vote by Muskegon City Commissioners at their September meeting.

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