Proposed zoning change would affect number of cannabis establishments in one location
Green River Cannabis Company, Inc., seeks to open an adult cannabis retail store in the shopping plaza at 150-156 Hartford Avenue, abutting Charlesview Road. Photo credit: Theresa Knapp
By Theresa Knapp
Local business owner Antonio Pinto has filed a rezoning petition to have his shopping plaza at 150-156 Harford Avenue rezoned from “General Business A” to “Commercial” which reflects zoning on abutting Charlesview Road and would allow him to have a retail cannabis tenant.
Pinto said that when nearby Charlesview Road was rezoned to Commercial, his parcel was not included. “I’m looking to get the continuous zoning that abuts me…I want to correspond with the existing zoning of my abutters.”
Pinto’s rezoning effort was initiated by Constant Poholek, President of Green River Cannabis Company, who has been trying to open a retail cannabis shop in Hopedale for more than two years. His first two attempts on Mellon Street and Condon Way were not successful, and he proposed the Hartford Street location to the Select Board in March, noting it would need a zoning change.
At a board meeting on May 9, Town Administrator Diana Schindler reported that, at the same time Pinto is filing for a zoning change that would allow an additional retail cannabis business on his property, his direct abutter - Caroline Frankel of Caroline’s Cannabis at 4 Charlesview Road - has filed for a zoning change that would limit the number of retail cannabis businesses in one location.
Zoning changes go through the Planning Board and need to be passed at town meeting by a two-thirds vote.
While Select Board members said they support Poholek’s ability to petition the Planning Board, and the public’s choice to shop at any retail cannabis location of their choice, then-Chairman Keyes said, “This is not a good location for you…I question the overall need for a third retail location in this town but we’re not making that determination.”
Selectman Louis Arcudi III noted the applicant’s right to petition the change, and Selectperson Glenda Hazard said, “I would prefer that all of those businesses weren’t together but I think we have a limited number of places where they can go, and so now it’s up to people to decide, like Lou said, where they want to shop.”
Poholek said he would be going before the Planning Board in the near future.