MONONGAHELA – Monongahela Council took the final step Thursday to add medical marijuana growing operations and dispensaries to the city’s zoning ordinance, unanimously approving the addition of those uses.
Mayor Bob Kepics said there are no plans for any marijuana growing or dispensary facilities to date.
He added he supports the ordinance.
The amended ordinance outlines specific area guidelines for the facilities.
Dispensaries and growing facilities are not be permitted within 1,000 feet of the property line of a public, private or parochial school, day care center, public playground, public park, church, meeting house or other place of worship.
If a proposed dispensary’s location receives a majority vote of council those limits could be amended.
Kepics addressed the solicitor on the legal issues of drones flying over city residences.
“Two nights ago, I had a drone flying over my residence,” he said, adding it was there for several minutes.
Solicitor Todd Pappasergi said the regulations for drones are constantly changing.
“I would suggest looking at the (Federal Aviation Administration) website for initial guidelines of operating drones,” he said, explaining the drone pilot could be charged with trespass or harassment.
“A person owns the air above their residence, so if a drone is flying above your house, the person operating could be charged with trespass. If that drone is operating in a harassing manner, an operator could be charged with harassment,” he said.
The problem, Pappasergi said, is knowing if the drone is government-owned and being used for mapping and topography or if it is operated by an individual.
Pappasergi agreed to look into the matter and possibly draw up some guidelines for the city.
Council also voted to remove the fountain in Chess Park.
Councilman Ken Kulak said that the fountain’s pump is no longer working and it is in disrepair.
“The fountain is out of commission and is an ongoing problem. I think it has seen its years,” he said. The motion passed with Councilman Tom Caudill voting no.
Kulak added the removal of the fountain isn’t necessarily permanent.
“It would be nice in the future to place another fountain or sculpture there in the park,” he said.