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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In other business, Nexamp has withdrawn its application for a solar array at Pontoosuc Country Club.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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Mazzeo Picks Up Support From Eliminated Mayoral Candidates

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Melissa Mazzeo thanks the two eliminated candidates for their support.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The two mayoral candidates eliminated in Tuesday's preliminary election have thrown their support to Melissa Mazzeo. 
 
Karen Kalinowsky and Scott Graves stood beside the top vote-getter on Tuesday to say she best represented the platforms they'd run on. The endorsement took place on the steps of City Hall, just outside the office of Mayor Linda Tyer, who is seeking a second four-year term. 
 
"She has my beliefs," said Graves, owner of the Rusty Anchor whose candidacy pointed to what he says are hurdles to local business. "I want to take care of crime and help strengthen the city and make it grow ... hopefully, also really focus on business and getting more businesses here and existing ones to expand."
 
Kalinowsky, a retired police officer, said she knew from the beginning that she and Mazzeo shared the same concerns when it came to the schools, accountability of the administration, the streets and crime.
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