4/25/2017 - Zoning Bylaw: Temp Moratorium / Marijuana Act

Public Hearing Notices.

4/25/2017 - Zoning Bylaw: Temp Moratorium / Marijuana Act

Postby Maria Lajoie » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:23 pm

Notice of Planning Board Public Hearing
Relative to
Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendments
Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 40A, § 5

The Douglas Planning Board will hold a public hearing regarding the adoption of amendments to the Zoning Bylaw for the Town of Douglas, Massachusetts, to be held on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 7:45 PM in the Douglas Municipal Building, Community Meeting Room, 29 Depot Street, Douglas, MA 01516. The following new Section 8.4 imposing a temporary moratorium regulating recreational marijuana is proposed as follows:

Section 8.4 Temporary Moratorium the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act

8.4.1. Purpose.
The Initiative Petition for the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana, also known as Ballot Question Four, Acts 2016, Chapter 334, was approved by voters at the Massachusetts State election on November 8, 2016 (the “Act”). The purpose of the Act is to control the cultivation, production, distribution and sale of marijuana under a system that licenses, regulates and taxes the entities engaged in such activities in a manner similar to alcohol and to make the use of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age or older. The Act took effect on December 15, 2016, which effective date was postponed for six months pursuant to Acts of 2016, Chapter 351. Section 5 of the Act provides that a town may adopt by-laws that impose reasonable safeguards on the operation of marijuana establishments, provided they are not unreasonably impracticable and are not in conflict with the Act or with regulations made pursuant to the Act. However, the Act contains certain ambiguities and, to date, regulations and anticipated legislative amendments have not been adopted. As a consequence, the means by which a municipality may regulate the sale, distribution and use of recreational marijuana are unclear.

Under the current zoning by-law, a marijuana establishment is not defined and is not a specified permitted use in the town. As this is a new type of land use in the state, there will be unique and new aspects to the use that could require oversight and regulations. These local impacts, which could be legal, land use, public safety, and public health, should be evaluated and addressed in a comprehensive manner in the zoning by-law prior to the permitting of a marijuana establishment. The moratorium, of a finite duration, will allow the town to carefully study the potential impacts, both primary and secondary, of such establishments and, through a directed planning process, recommend zoning by-law amendments to address the town’s concerns in the context of comprehensive land-use planning and other town planning goals and objectives.

8.4.2. Definitions. "Marijuana Establishment", a marijuana cultivator, marijuana testing facility, marijuana product manufacturer, marijuana retailer or any other type of licensed marijuana-related business. The definitions set forth in the Act, as amended, shall apply equally to this article. This definition does not include the cultivation, distribution and/or sale of medical marijuana, which is expressly excluded from regulation under the Act.

8.4.3. Establishment and Duration.
a. Moratorium - No building permit, special permit, variance, site plan or other permit may be issued under this zoning bylaw, and no use of land or structures shall be allowed for the purpose of establishing a Marijuana Establishment.
b. The moratorium shall be in effect through and including January 1, 2019, or until such time as zoning amendments are adopted that address marijuana establishments, whichever shall be sooner.

8.4.4. Applicability. This Bylaw shall be effective in all zoning districts in the town, including overlay districts. This Bylaw does not apply to the cultivation, distribution or sale of medical marijuana.

The complete text of the proposed amendments can be obtained and/or reviewed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Friday at the office of the Douglas Planning Board, located at 29 Depot Street in Douglas, Massachusetts.

Please place this Legal Notice in your Monday, April 3, 2017 and your Monday, April, 10, 2017 issues.

Please send the invoice to the Douglas Planning Board.
Maria Lajoie
Maria Lajoie
Posts: 1481
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Community Development Department

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