Marijuana dispensary opponents unhappy with Brookline licensing progress – Wicked Local Brookline

The medical marijuana dispensary proposed for the former Brookline Bank building is one step closer to reality after the Planning Board last week recommended approval of the project to the Zoning Board of Appeals, but local residents feel like their complaints are not being heard.

New England Treatment Access, or NETA, is hoping to open at the Brookline Bank building at the corner of Route 9 and Washington Street.

Opponents of the dispensary who live in close proximity to the site say the marijuana vendor would bring unwanted traffic to the area, and would be a public safety risk. One petitioner previously said he believed a secondary market for marijuana would surface across the street at 22 High St., a public housing development, if the marijuana dispensary were to be approved.

Dan Saltzman, an opponent to the proposal, said he has been frustrated with the town process so far, and wasn’t surprised by the Planning Board’s decision.

“Nothing is happening to address the issues,” he said.

Attorney Art Kreiger is representing a group of residents opposed to the medical marijuana dispensary application.

Kreiger said residents are concerned about traffic and parking, as well as the location of the dispensary in relation to child-oriented places such as parks and daycares, and businesses such as the Puppet Showplace Theater.

“We think it’s the wrong place for this,” said Kreiger.

The Planning Board supported the plan with seven conditions. The conditions include the requirement that NETA come back to the Planning Board to better design the parking layout, which board members found problematic.

Other conditions include the requirement that NETA come back to the board for review of any exterior modifications, as well as get support from the Preservation Commission for any exterior or interior changes to the building.

Polly Selkoe, assistant director for regulatory planning, said the applicants will also need to put together a transportation demand plan and have it reviewed and approved by Peter Ditto, head of Brookline’s engineering department.

If the Zoning Board of Appeals approves the project, there will be a 20-day appeal period after a decision is written and submitted.

Kreiger said the conditions applied to the application by the Planning Board address certain issues on the site, but don’t consider the location nor the traffic.

“We think they’ve greatly underestimated the …Read More

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