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January 24, 2014

Proposed zoning for medical marijuana facilities released


But on a case-by-case basis, the proposed bylaw gives the board authority to reduce by as much as 25 percent the buffer zone distance should an applicant show it would prohibit location in town or if the applicant demonstrates it will employ “adequate security measures to prevent diversion of medical marijuana to minors who are not qualifying patients,” pursuant to the state law.

Selectman Fred Knowles questioned why the board included “dwelling units” in its buffer zone regulation at all. Straubel answered that homes are scattered throughout all Salisbury’s commercial zones. The board felt that residents living within commercial zones could be upset, or “prove bothersome,” if a medical marijuana facility were located close by, he said.

“My thoughts were we could put (dwellings) in (the buffer zone) and see if anyone objects,” Straubel told Knowles.

Salisbury’s four commercial zones basically run along both sides of the town’s state highways: Route1A (along about half of Beach Road), the north and south corridors of Route 1 (Lafayette and Bridge roads, respectively) excluding the village center, Route 110 (Elm Street), Rabbit Road and Main Street, and on Route 286. The town’s light industrial zone along Rabbit Road is also included as an area where a medical marijuana facility could site.

Locating a facility in town would require a special permit issued by the Planning Board, with a list of regulations with which applicants must comply. Selectman Freeman Condon urged the board to require a complete site plan review for medical marijuana facilities, as part of the special permit process.

The board continued the hearing on the proposed ordinance to Feb. 12 in consideration of the issues raised at Wednesday’s meeting, which includes Knowles’ proposal to charge a medical marijuana facility a “hosting fee” as mitigation for the security costs of having such a center in town.

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