Thursday, March 15, 2018

At P&Z, Strong Opposition to Medical Marijuana Facilities

By James Lomuscio

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) tonight heard overwhelming public opposition to two special permit applications for medical marijuana dispensaries.

A large crowd was on hand for the P&Z meeting and discussion of medical marijuana dispensaries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlowfor

One facility is proposed at the former Bertucci’s Restaurant at 833 Post Road East, the other at what was Blockbuster Video at 1505 Post Road East.

“I do not want to become a resident of West-pot,” said Lamia Hatsiandrou, who was the last to speak against the 833 Post Road East application.

Angela D’Amico, owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Bethel and a consultant for the Blockbuster applicant, later said, “It’s sad to see the stigma is still alive and well in Connecticut.”

Acreage Connecticut, LLC seeks approval of a medical marijuana dispensary facility and wellness center at the Blockbuster site, which is in a general business district (GBD), Residential A zone.

The former Bertucci’s location near the Sherwood Island Connector is also in a GBD/ Residential A zone. Shoreline Alternative Care, LLC, is looking for site plan approval and a change of use from restaurant, non-patron area to retail.

Both applications were left open tonight. P&Z Chairman Paul Lebowitz, who had admonished members of the public from booing, applauding and shouting out during the hearings, said all would all have the opportunity to comment when the P&Z reconvenes April 5.

According to P&Z commissioner Chip Stephens, tonight’s large turnout belied the apathy he witnessed over the past two years. He said the P&Z held public hearings on the matter before crafting its own regulation.

“We had maybe three people attend our meetings,” he said.

On June 8, the P&Z unanimously approved

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