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The Zoning Board of Appeals granted the permit last week.

Pittsfield ZBA Approves Permit for West Street Cannabis Shop

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A proposed cannabis retailer received the local permits needed for a West Street location.
Devin Bajardi and Mark Penna are planning to open Pure Botanicals inside the existing building at 239 West St. The plan is to use 7,000 square feet in the rear of the industrial building for the discrete location of the retail shop. The plan estimates for nine total employees and limited alterations to the property. 
"It is more of an industrial use right now," Bajardi told the Zoning Board of Appeals last week.
The particularly noticeable change to the property will be the replacement of a current fence in the rear to provide more privacy and security. The company will also add new lighting and clean out trees in the rear of the property. 
Pure Botanicals was given the green light from the Community Development Board on the plan already and the ZBA followed with its approval. The company will now have to go through the state's approval process before opening.
The location, however, didn't coast by without some opposition. Housing Authority member Sharon LeBarnes opposes the project for concern that it could jeopardize the federal funding given to the nearby Jubilee Apartment complex.
"I don't want to have to state that our location is near a cannabis center," LeBarnes said. "It is near a development that is important to the Housing Authority."
She added that the development is for families and there are a number of children in the area. She said there will be a significant number of shops opening in the city and questioned whether that location was the best.
"What I worry about is that it is not going to be far from a development that is federally funded," LeBarnes said.
According to Permitting Coordinator Nate Joyner, the playground in the area falls outside of the city's requirements that cannabis shops be at least 500 feet from one. ZBA member Miriam Maduro said there is a liquor store "not too far" from the apartment complex already.
"This is an industrial zone. It seems to meet all of the requirements. It is very difficult to deny something that meets all of the requirements," said ZBA member John Fitzgerald.
In other business, Nexamp has withdrawn its application for a solar array at Pontoosuc Country Club. The Conservation Commission had denied a permit regarding an access road near wetlands and neighbors had fought the project. After the ConCom's denial, the company wanted to take another look at the project in hopes to find a way to make it work but ultimately opted to withdraw the application.

Tags: marijuana,   solar array,   

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PCTV Documentary Finds Pittsfield Parade Dates Back to 1801

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television's recently released documentary "Fighting For Independence:  The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" has traced the first Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade back to at least 1801.  

An article in the Pittsfield Sun from July 7, 1801, says that "at 12:00 o’ clock at noon a Procession was formed consisting of the Militia of the town."

Previously the Pittsfield Parade Committee acknowledged that the parade dated back to 1824.

"This was a fascinating discovery, as we researched to put this documentary together," said Bob Heck, PCTV’s coordinator of advancement and community production and executive producer of the program.  "Not only were we able to trace the parade back further than ever before, but to see how the parade has impacted Pittsfield, and how the community always seems to come together to make sure the parade happens is remarkable."

The Pittsfield Fourth of July parade experienced bumps in the road even back in the early 1800s - most notably, when Captain Joseph Merrick, a Federalist, excluded Democrats from the yearly post-parade gathering at his tavern in 1808.

The parade ran concurrently from at least 1801 until 1820. In 1821, Pittsfield’s spiritual leader Dr. Rev. Heman Humphrey, canceled the festivities so the day could be dedicated to God before resuming in 1822 after residents decided they wanted their parade.

"Fighting for Independence: The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" premiered July 4 at 9:30 am on PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301 and PCTV Select.  The program is available on-demand on PCTV Select, available on Roku and Apple TV, or online.

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