Newington To Consider Revising Marijuana Zoning Regulations
After two applications to open medical marijuana dispensaries in town failed to meet zoning criteria, the town plan and zoning board will consider revisiting the 4-year-old regulations.
“Now that we have some background and some understanding of what this industry really includes and how it works and we have other dispensaries up and running and distribution facilities, maybe as a commission, we should look at these old regulations again,” chairman Frank Aieta said.
Two applications to open dispensaries were proposed to the commision in the last month. One was on the Berlin Turnpike and the other on Fenn Road. Neither moved forward because they fell short on the town’s requirement that dispensaries be located more than 1,000 feet from residential areas, churches or schools.
According to Aieta, the way the town’s current marijuana zoning regulations are written, there may not be more than one or two locations in town where dispensaries would be permitted.
In 2014, the town passed zoning regulations that allowed marijuana dispensaries, but because the industry was new in Connecticut, the regulations were restrictive.
“It’s not working for the town, it’s not working for the people who are coming in,” he said. “The regulations, as written, are so limiting that there is probably one piece of property in the town of Newington where you could have a dispensary. That is ridiculous.”
Town planner Craig Minor said the town will have to decide whether it wants to revisit the marijuana zoning regulations.
“For me, the first question is does Newington, I don’t want to use the world encourage, but does this commission want to make it possible for medical marijuna dispensaries?” he asked. “Some towns don’t.”
Minor said that many towns have fewer restrictive requirements for where you can locate a dispensary.
“I have been doing a