Skymint received Pleasant Ridge’s second and last marijuana licenses at the Aug. 9 City Commission meeting.

Skymint received Pleasant Ridge’s second and last marijuana licenses at the Aug. 9 City Commission meeting.

File rendering provided by the city of Pleasant Ridge

Pleasant Ridge grants approval to second marijuana facility

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 7, 2022


PLEASANT RIDGE — A second marijuana facility has been approved by the Pleasant Ridge City Commission.

At its Aug. 9 meeting, the marijuana facility from the Michigan-based company Skymint was unanimously approved by the commission. It will be located at 23622 Woodward Ave.

It will be the second and final marijuana facility in Pleasant Ridge after Sozo.

Before its approval, multiple concerns had to be addressed in order for the business to obtain its license. One such concern was parking.

Two studies of comparable marijuana facilities in the area were ordered by Skymint to determine the expected parking needed. According to city documents, the studies found that peak parking demand is expected to be 10 to 14 vehicles. The location has 26 on-site parking spaces, and 22 are accessible from Woodward without requiring patrons to use a nearby alley.

“We are very, very confident that this will accommodate any of the need and … compared to the other institutions in the area, we far … exceed that,” said Skymint Director of Government Affairs Nathan Kark.

City Manager James Breuckman said the Woodward location has been “concerning and challenging,” but that the applicant has worked hard to make sure that neighborhood spillover impacts are reduced as much as possible by “providing really more relative parking” than any of the other comparable marijuana businesses in the area.

“The site plan has been revised since the last time this came before you in May to make sure that all of the parking spaces are now accessible from that Woodward driveway to make it so that you can get in and out of the site without having to use Oak Ridge or Woodward Heights or the alley,” he said. “You can directly get in and off of Woodward, get in and out from there.”

A traffic impact analysis also was submitted by Skymint, which stated that the expectation is there would be minimal impact in the area.

The traffic counts studied multiple spots in the area, including northbound Woodward Avenue at Woodward Heights, Woodward Heights at the alley east of Woodward Avenue, northbound Woodward Avenue at East Oakridge Avenue, and East Oakridge Avenue at the alley east of Woodward Avenue. The areas were evaluated during weekday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Our opinion on it is that the establishment is not going to generate enough traffic to change or diminish the level of service either in the neighborhood or on Woodward,” Michael Darga, a principal with civil engineering firm Giffels Webster, stated. “I know that’s all in the report that was in your packets. It was a fairly simple, easy report here because the traffic generator quite frankly isn’t that significant per even the peak hours.”

Some residents and nearby business owners came to the meeting to express concerns about Skymint taking over the location.

John Wilk, of Wessels & Wilk Funeral Home, located at 23690 Woodward Ave., said traffic is tough on the nearby alleys.

“I see people cutting through my place to get into the alleys,” he said. “They don’t go to Woodward Heights, and it becomes a very difficult, difficult situation. You know, I’ve had people make me back the hearse up thinking that they’re for my funeral and they cut through my lot and go down the alley. And I foresee this as becoming more and more of a challenge with more and more people.”

The license was granted to Skymint, subject to a number of conditions during the final site plan approval. These include that the directional entrance sign be moved to the southwest corner of the building and illuminated, the rear entrance be improved to carry the design aesthetic of the front, and the applicant work with the abutting property owner in Ferndale to install a fence.

Commissioner Katy Schmier said that she still has concerns when it comes to the traffic impacts and congestion.

“This is a retail space. It’s kind of the Wild West, but working with Skymint, who has been incredibly responsive, has let us create a situation that allows us to manage potential traffic in a way that we wouldn’t be able to with other retailers,” she said. “That’s important, and they have been responsive, and there will be bumps in the road, and we will continue to manage them, and I think this allows us to manage … retail and congestion and traffic, which is part of life, which is going to be a constant struggle for us.

“This allows us to continue to manage that and get ahead of it versus letting, you know, a retailer without parking, with no Woodward driveway, come into those spaces and really create unregulated havoc,” she continued.