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Marijuana dispensary construction in Walled Lake angers homeowners

Posted at 5:43 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 18:20:50-05

WALLED LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) — What many neighbors are calling an eyesore at the corner of Spring Park and North Pontiac Trail in Walled Lake is hard to miss. The construction work has been essentially non-stop for months.

“This used to be a residential street where you could drive pretty much both ways but now they’ve pretty much constricted it like an artery," said longtime Spring Park resident Kenneth Kolke. "We’re a heart attack waiting to happen."

The problem according to neighbors, is a joint construction effort with property owner Jimmy Maher and Lume Cannabis Company, which is leasing space from him for a recreational marijuana dispensary, or provisioning center.

Lume's Chief Marketing Officer John Gregory told 7 Action News Thursday by phone that the dispensary plans to open in March, pending state approval for recreational sales. Neighbors said the constant construction work is blocking access to their cul-de-sac.

“I have a disabled son, and I’m worried that the EMS can’t get down here," said Nancy Fassinger, who also lives on Spring Park.

As 7 Action News was getting interviews in the area, one of the construction vehicles got stuck in the snow, blocking homeowner Tammy Loguidice for about 20 minutes, which is something she said she's used to.

“The street’s (are) decaying. They got stuck in the neighbor’s yard, and there’s gigantic ruts in his yard now," Loguidice said. "No regard whatsoever for any, not one single solitary resident down this stree."

Gregory told 7 Action News part of the reason for the non-stop construction is an effort to open the dispensary as soon as possible.

“We’re very apologetic for any negative sentiment that our construction site has caused in the community," he said. "The reason that this construction has been such a heavy construction site is that we’re trying to shorten really what should be a 6 month time frame down to 90 days.”

The site plan for the dispensary was approved by the City of Walled Lake, said City Manager Dennis Whitt. However, Lume does not currently have an adult-use license in Walled Lake, according to LARA's website.

Gregory said he's expecting the construction site to be all cleared within the next several days. REsident Kenneth Kolke is frustrated with the city as well, arguing this problem should have been dealt with already.

"They just don't give a hoot," Kolke said.

City Manager Dennis Whitt said he's been to the site and can appreciate the neighborhood frustration. The city ticketed the property owner, Jimmy Maher, earlier this month for improperly storing equipment inside a home he'd purchased on Spring Park. He's due in court March 3 on that violation.

Many neighbors said even if construction wraps up in the coming days as Gregory promised, they're worried the months of heavy equipment on their small street has done permanent damage.

“There’s a heavy cement hauler that goes up and down the road when they're pouring cement down here," Fassinger said. "And I’m sure they’re not going to take care of that when they’re done."

7 Action News also reached out to the property owner Jimmy Maher Thursday for a comment. We called him twice and left messages, but have not heard back.

"I do understand the concerns from people in that immediate vicinity and we're doing everything we can to minimize that construction impact," Gregory said.

This is a developing story.