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Two More Marijuana Companies Seek Pittsfield Permits

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The owner of the former County Wide Rental building on Dalton Avenue is trying for a third time to get a marijuana business into the property.
 
James Scalise of SK Design is representing Pittsfield Investment Group again in a pitch to receive permits for a marijuana business at 531 Dalton Ave. The site was originally the first location permitted for a medical marijuana facility in 2014 but the plans fell through. In 2016, a new vendor looked at the space but that too went the same path.
 
Scalise returned to the Community Development Board on Tuesday looking for permits again because the approvals are linked to the operator and not the property. Scalise said the building plans haven't changed. It will still be a 6,000 square-foot building and parking has been coordinated with Ribco to allow for enough spaces. The screening, architecture, lighting, and shrubbery that had all been approved in the past remains unchanged. 
 
"Some work did start on the building. The building has been stripped of a lot of its exterior," Scalise said.
 
City Planner CJ Hoss said there was an oversight in advertising a public hearing for a required parking waiver and the permitting process has to be delayed. Hoss said this time there could be concern about the proximity of another marijuana retailer, Berkshire Roots, but traffic issues could be addressed by consolidating curb cuts.
 
Meanwhile, another marijuana company is looking for permits to operate in a building at 239 West St. Devin Bajardi and Mark Penna of Pure Botanicals are seeking to have a more discrete location for retail on the leased property. 
 
"It is in the same footprint but we are going to make it a little more modern," Bajardi said.
 
Particularly the company is looking to put up a new chain link fence with a green screen to provide more privacy. That will replace the current fence that has trees growing into it. He said the fence will link up to an existing 7-foot fence owned by an adjacent property owner.
 
The Community Development Board approved of the plans and believes the updates to the property will make the site look better. Pure Botanicals now needs approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals to take the next step.
 
The city has already approved a number of marijuana establishments but none have yet to open. Only Temescal Wellness has gotten the state approvals needed to open its doors. 
 
In other business, Hoss reported that an application has been submitted for the redevelopment of the White Terrace apartments. Hoss said the application is calling for 41 residential units in the three buildings but there will be some questions about parking. He expects that permit to be on the agenda next month.
 
The board also tabled a request from Lipton to expand its 183 Elm Street location to add more parking. The convenience store is looking to purchase 11 Livingston and expand its parking lot. That is expected to be taken up in March.

Tags: community development,   marijuana,   

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Berkshire County Kids' Place Gala Celebrates Courage

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Michael Supranowicz was presented with the Founders Award. He was president of the Kids' Place board for two years and retired from Hillcrest Educational Centers. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The "Wizard of Oz's" the Cowardly Lion finds his courage by facing his fears with the help of his friends. 
 
"Like the Lion, many children just need someone to help them realize that the courage they need to heal from the abuse they have suffered is already inside of them," said Rosemarie  Phelps, chairman of the Berkshire County Kids' Place Board of Directors. "For 26 years, the Kids' Place has helped lead these children and their families down the path to recovery."
 
The path on Friday night was a yellow brick road to "A Night in the Emerald City," the theme for these year's fundraising gala for the nonprofit that was held at Country Club of Pittsfield. Phelps donned a purple witch's hat to welcome guests to the event that also included recognition of several individuals for their work for Kids' Place. 
 
Berkshire County Kids' Place has been providing a safe and healing place for abused children for more than a quarter century. The agency is funded through the state Department of Children and Families, grants and donations. It works closely with related agencies and the Berkshire County district attorney's office to serve the more than 400 children that pass through its doors each year. 
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