Williamstown Zoning Board Wants a Sniff Before Approving Pot-Growing Site
The Berkshire Eagle reports one of the requests the board members had for the developer seeking to establish a marijuana-growing facility just off Green River Road during a public hearing Thursday night was to see if it could bring in a flowering marijuana plant so they could smell the aroma it gives off.
A Colorado business owner is proposing to build a marijuana-cultivation operation on farmland at 295 Blair Road. There would be an 8-foot screening fence installed around the 5-acre growing field, with cameras for added security. The company also owns two marijuana-cultivation facilities in Colorado.
In order to proceed to the next step required by state regulators, Massflora needs to obtain a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
During the public hearing, numerous neighbors of the proposed site expressed grave concerns about the odor that might emanate from the farm during the summer growing months, using comparisons to the smell of skunks. They expressed fear that the smell could induce breathing issues in the very young or elderly.
Neighbor Peter Dolan said the board should deny the permit because it would result in adverse effects to the area.
Another neighbor pointed out that fencing, security alarms and lights are not a good fit for the little neighborhood.
Another neighbor introduced a petition urging denial that was signed by about 100 residents of Willliamstown.
After public input, members of the board continued the hearing until their next meeting scheduled for April 18. They also asked the applicant to provide more data on increased traffic and wondered how they could get a feel for the kind of odor that can be expected from a grow facility.