The building at 68 Dalton Ave. has been vacant for years and was slated to be demolished.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Royal Cleaners is now eyed to be repurposed for a marijuana retail, cultivation, and manufacturing company.
The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a special permit for EOS Farm LLC to operate there. The plan is to use the majority of the building for cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana products and then use 600 square feet of frontage for retail.
"There are plantings along the front and the side to hide the residential property," said architect John Barry.
The company will be leasing from Raymond Frenkel, who also own and lease the adjacent residential properties. Engineer Brent White said an evergreen screen will be installed on the property boundary to separate the two uses.
White added that the curb cut on Dalton Avenue will be removed and Harvard Street will be where the customers enter. The store hopes to be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
"I think it is a good use of a structure that has been sitting there for a couple of years," said ZBA member John Fitzgerald.
The board and a neighbor raised questions about odors and conditioned the permit so that if the odor becomes an issue, the company will have to come back before the board with a solution.
The building had been most recently eyed to be demolished and Dunkin' Donuts planned to build a new restaurant there. The ZBA had granted that permit in 2017 but the plans never moved forward -- ending a political saga between city officials and the company.
The Zoning Board has had steady interest in cannibis companies looking to open up shop since Massachusetts voters approved recreational sales. About 10 or so retailers have been approved, a half dozen or so cultivators have been approved, and two manufacturers have been approved on the local level.
However, despite the interest, only one entity is currently selling recreationally. Temescal Wellness on West Housatonic Street is the only recreational dispensary in Pittsfield right now and Berkshire Roots is expected to become the second soon, as it received its final permit from the state last month.
A number of other entities have shown interest but haven't moved forward with applications. A proposal for the former Countywide Rental building on Dalton Avenue was intended to become a dispensary but on Wednesday the ZBA accepted Pittsfield Investment Group's withdrawal.
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Community Development Deny Marijuana Dispensary Extra Parking
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A proposed Merril Road marijuana dispensary was denied a parking expansion by the Community Development Board.
The board last week denied a request by Slang LLC, doing business as the Bloom Brothers, to amend a special permit for its proposed marijuana dispensary at 392-400 Merril Road / 2 Larch St. that would allow it to construct additional parking adjacent to Larch Street.
Bloom Brother principle Nathan Girard said they originally planned to only have parking on an upper lot, meeting the city's requirements, but felt because parking abundancy is generally an issue at dispensaries there would ultimately be a parking shortage.
"We are trying to be proactive with our approach and we just saw that there was going to be a shortage of parking no matter what we did," he said. "So we reached out to our architect to try to find a space that we could do it."
Girard said they reached out to the city's engineering department, building commissioner, and the permitting coordinator and submitted some new plans. He said because the change was so minor the building inspector signed off on it and they blocked off the area and prepared for construction.
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The reported was shared by Superintendent Jason McCandless at last Wednesday's meeting. School Committee member William Cameron noted that some of the exiting employees were only hired at the beginning of the school year.
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After McCandless' evaluation by the School Committee on Wednesday, he confirmed that he is a finalist for the superintendent's position of the Silver Lake Regional School District in Kingston, just north of Plymouth.
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