Metro Councilman Trae Welch wants the Planning Commission to look into the zoning of medical marijuana operations in East Baton Rouge Parish to make sure the city-parish zoning laws “keep up with the times.”
Welch says he’s not against grow operations, but just wants to make sure the zoning requirements for such facilities match the operation. Specifically, he’s concerned the agricultural/rural zoning requirement for grow facilities may allow for what is effectively an industrial operation to be located next to a neighborhood.
“This is not your typical agricultural operation,” Welch says. “This sounds like a laboratory. I’ve reached out to several people to get an understanding of what this is, but haven’t had success. They are harvesting and then preparing for final product. It’s not just growing, it’s also testing and packaging … it’s not (the agricultural operation) we’ve typically thought of.”
Southern previously announced it’s planning to construct a facility on a 176-acre plot of land in Baker. Representatives at Southern University were unable to be reached for more information before this morning’s deadline.
Welch’s request will be introduced at Wednesday’s Metro Council meeting, at which the council will also:
- Consider authorizing Mayor Sharon Weston Broome to execute a contract not to exceed $801,000 with The Gotcha Group to implement a new bike sharing program.
- Consider the application for a multimillion-dollar Industrial Tax Exemption Program by ExxonMobil for a potential Baton Rouge plant expansion.
- Consider offering the long-vacant aviation director job at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport to the airport’s existing interim director Mike Edwards.
The council convenes at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at City Hall, 222 St. Louis St. See the full agenda.