Planning Board Recommends Ordinance Change to Limit Siting Of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

The Planning Board has recommended that the City Council pass a zoning ordinance that would limit medical marijuana dispensaries to the Shopping Center District.

The recommendation came at a hearing on Tuesday night, and that news will be relayed at the City Council’s public hearing on the same ordinance this coming Monday, March 4th.

Originally, the Council and City Manager Jay Ash had teamed up to look into blocking dispensaries from coming to Chelsea outright. However, legal advice seemed to suggest that was not possible, and so in an effort to protect neighborhoods and the Central Business District, the ordinance limited such facilities to the Shopping Center District. There are only two of those districts and they lie in the Mystic Mall and the Parkway Plaza.

In other Planning Board news, the members recommended that a zoning ordinance be passed by the Council that modifies the site plan review process for wireless antennae placed on building by right. It would move the site plan review in those specific cases to the Building Inspector from the Planning Board.

•The Board recommended the passage of a special permit by Joaquin Ajtum to convert a two-family home at 54 Heard St. into a three-family home by using the existing basement space. It needs four pieces of relief, including parking.

•Board members agreed to give a recommendation that the Zoning Board approve a petition by Kevin Stirnweis to convert a commercial unit at 118-122 Winnisimmet St. to a residential use.

•Finally, Bell Atlantic Mobile won a recommendation for special permit to install 12 new antennae on the building at 181-189 Winnisimmet St.

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