To the editor:
Three proposed warrants regarding marijuana will change the face of Great Barrington. While the vast majority voted for legalizing marijuana, we did not want it to dominate our town. Please consider our recommendations in voting during tonight’s special town meeting:
Article 25: Changing the number of retail marijuana establishments. Amend the proposed number of marijuana retailers from 7 to 5. Some members of our boards seem to think pot tax revenues will save the town fiscally. This TOWN IS NOT FOR SALE. Let’s do a better job of managing our finances. Vote NO unless amended.
Article 27: Marijuana establishment and manufacturing in the I2 zone. The site under consideration is one block above Main Street which has become a retail district extension. This evolved when we expanded the Village Center from 3 blocks to over one mile, from Maple Ave. to the brown bridge 10 years ago. This activated some moribund buildings at the north end of Main Street with new businesses. We should capture this commercial business opportunity and consider rezoning this section of I2 rather than making this a marijuana manufacturing zone. Vote: NO.
Article 28: Marijuana Proximity: We recommend passage of the citizen’s petition to increase the allowable proximity of marijuana establishments from 200 feet to 500 feet away from schools, day care facilities, playgrounds, public libraries, athletic fields, etc. The Planning Board argues that it would eliminate most marijuana establishments on/near Main Street. What’s wrong with that? Theory Wellness has been successful, operating near a shopping center with plenty of parking and limited disruption to traffic. Do we instead want to favor new marijuana establishments in Village Center? There are several locations on or near Main and Railroad Streets where marijuana retailers have already been approved by the Select Board for licenses; this will clog traffic. This “Best Little Town in America” should NOT BE FOR SALE. PLEASE VOTE YES on this citizens’ petition.
(All of Great Barrington)