Logistics of facility in question
Published 4:19 pm, Thursday, May 3, 2018
WESTPORT — Planning and Zoning commissioners and lawyers carefully dug into the details of the application for a medical marijuana dispensary at 833 Post Road E. during an April 26 meeting, the latest in a series of hearings regarding the proposed facilities in Westport.
Five applications for medical marijuana dispensaries have been submitted to the town to date.
While the first several public hearings on the applications featured raucous debate and public testimony primarily against putting a facility in town, the public seems to have said its piece for now, and largely stayed away from the most recent hearing, leaving the commissioners to consider the logistics for 833 Post Road E.
Per P&Z zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries approved over the summer, no dispensary can open within 1,000 feet of a public building. For Shoreline Alternative Care LLC, its proposal for a medical marijuana facility at 833 Post Road E. is within 1,000 feet of a salt and storage facility owned by the state Department of Transportation, which, according to the town, is considered a public building.
Phil Hein opened Shoreline Integrative Pharmacy over a year ago at 1835 Post Road E. and hopes to open a shop at the nearby 833 location to serve a community need for medical marijuana. At the hearing, Hein’s attorney for the dispensary application argued the P&Z should not consider the salt facility a public building because it is not a place where the public gathers. While the P&Z will not rule on the 833 facility until a later date, Commissioner Chip Stephens said it was reasonable for the applicant’s attorney to argue the regulation unfairly bars the 833 property from consideration, given the definition of a public building.
The P&Z has not yet given a decision on any of the applications for medical marijuana facilities in town and still has public hearings open for facility applications at 1460 and 1803 Post Road E. and 345 Post Road W. The public hearing period for a dispensary at 1505 Post Road E. was closed and the decision is pending. P&Z zoning regulations allow for two dispensaries in town, but First Selectman Jim Marpe and many members of the public have called for a limit of one dispensary, if any.
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