HANSON — Impressed LLC’s proposal for a cannabis product manufacturing aspect of their cultivation business at the town’s industrial park took another step on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
A special permit hearing continued from Oct. 13 was held in a joint session between the Board of Selectmen and Zoning Board of Appeals, which, because of the number of people attending was held in the Hanson Middle School auditorium where acoustics, participants’ speaking through masks without using provided microphones and background noise made it difficult to hear for viewers.
The hearing, broadcast by Whitman-Hanson Community Access TV, concerned Impressed LLC’s application for a special permit for a marijuana cultivation and manufacturing business.
Project engineers reported on their responses to comments and questions from, town officials at the October hearing session, including information that a traffic study — not required by the application — has not been conducted.
Wastewater issues, odor mitigation, storm water retention, external security, parking and ease of truck access, as well as other concerns, were discussed by Selectmen and the engineering firm.
Selectmen Chairman Kenny Mitchell said he wanted to see an updated plan submitted to the ZBA before any final decision is made.
“We’re close,” Mitchell said. “You guys talked about a lot of stuff, and I personally want to see that updated plan.”
“It’s great that these plans appear to be compliant and he’s done a sanity check on them. … We want to make sure what we approve is actually what’s built and that the systems are the same,” Selectman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett said agreeing that suggested plans need to be verified, especially in areas such as odor mitigation where the community would feel the impact. “Our responsibility is to the folks that live nearby, so that they’re not having to smell that 24/7.”
She advocated a peer reviewer, chosen by the town and paid for by the applicants to ensure that Mitchell agreed.
Selectman Matt Dyer suggested the board was getting “carried away” a little bit by demanding third-party review.
“Impressed LLC, in their best interests, want to make sure [an air purifying system] is installed properly, they want to hire professionals to do it. It’s kind of like having a Chevy mechanic trying to discover what’s going on in a Kia. Are they going to be able to say ‘with this piece of equipment, you activated this right or you activated this wrong.’”
Mitchell said Dyer was entitled to his opinion, but maintained that odor is a “big factor in this.”
The company agreed to the peer review and the hearing was continued to Dec. 15.
The headline on the story about the de-regionalization committee in the Nov. 19 issue of the Whitman-Hanson Express [“Hanson de-regionalization panel votes to disband”] was inaccurate. The committee was not disbanded, but has temporarily suspended it’s work until a consultant can be hired to help with the study.