MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – It was far from what city leaders expected when they rolled out the welcome mat for a new business in Moraine.
“We’re used to dealing with companies,” said David Hicks, City Manager for Moraine. “Sometimes they have to keep certain things confidential. Generally, they’re forthcoming enough to let us know what we’re going to have to deal with. In this case, we were completely blindsided.”
It was a little more than a month ago a buyer, now known to be associated with the pro-marijuana group ResponsibleOhio, was looking to purchase 50 acres of land along the 2400 block off Soldier’s Home – West Carrollton Road.
But Moraine City Manager David Hicks said the group’s proposed marijuana grow operation may be in violation of its own policy.
According to ResponsibleOhio’s proposed amendment, it reads
“Prohibiting a marijuana establishment from being located within 1,000 feet of the primary building structure used for any of the following: a house of worship, a state chartered elementary or secondary school, a publicly owned library, or a state licensed child day-care facility; or withing 1,000 feet of any public playground or a playground adjacent to any of the foregoing primary building structures…”
Possum Creek MetroPark has a playground across the street from the proposed site. The Word of God Church has also been building a new facility around the corner on the 2800 block of South Gettysburg Road.
“I thought these people would be more competent than to propose a site that doesn’t conform to the very rules that they wrote,” said Hicks.
City leaders said they were unaware about the possible use of the site.
Hicks said there would have had to be more discussions if the group was more upfront about turning the area into a marijuana growing site.
“One of the considerations we would have had is negotiating the option knowing how tentative that is because this is reliant on the citizens of the state of Ohio changing our constitution to allow marijuana,” said Hicks.
The city will forward the findings to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Friday.
2 News was unable to reach a spokesperson for ResponsbleOhio after the city manager released his findings Thursday night.