HANSON — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, Sept. 22 continued a hearing with Impressed LLC to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 13 for its request for a special permit under the Zoning Bylaw for a marijuana cultivation, product manufacturing and site improvements at 15 Commercial Way.
A public hearing on the matter was held — socially distanced — at the Hanson Middle School auditorium.
Town Counsel Kate Fedeoroff said the permit process is not the typical purview of Selectmen except for the context of marijuana, what the business will look like and the effect it might have on the town.
A peer review of engineering specs, hired by the town but paid for by the applicant, has also been done on the technical aspects of plans presented by Impressed LLC’s engineer and reviewed at the hearing.
Licensed civil engineer Kevin Solli spoke on behalf of the plan his firm has drawn up for his company Solli Engineering, joined by Casey Burch. Jeff Silcox of Hallam-ICS represented one of the town-hired peer review firms.
Dan Denisi spoke about the site plan and Dennis Colwell talked about technical elements for the building.
“I just wanted to make sure you guys were responsive to these findings,” Selectman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “The big thing we kept hearing come up was the odor. … We just need some assurances in the mechanical review [that] you guys are going to address.”
Silcox said applicable codes were looked at first at state and local regulations, the international mechanical code and any specific town bylaws that apply.
For odor control, differential pressure control, air purification units using ultraviolet light and ozone, and carbon-filtering or exhaust make up a three-tier system.
Impressed LLC’s Ralph Greenburg said a detailed maintenance plan will be drawn up for upkeep of those processes.
FitzGerald-Kemmett also asked about concerns expressed about groundwater contamination, but Silcox said his firm was not charged with that issue. A second firm, not present at the meeting, was charged with that.
“Security will always be in place,” said Colwell, noting that a generator will provide backup power in the event of outages. He also said other security precautions are being used to safeguard deliveries and wastewater.
The site takes up about 1.79 acres in the town’s commercial-industrial zoning district. An extension to the rear of the building purchased by the company will replace the current loading dock with an extension of the building and traffic access to the property will be reduced by changing the current 90-foot curb cut to about 50 feet. New paving will be done at both the front and rear to satisfy parking requirements for the facility.
The existing septic system, originally designed to accommodate a school, will be retained.
Colwell said vertical farming units would be used inside the building for cultivation. The head house and supporting services will be located in the existing building with security provisions. Manufacturing will include trim, extraction, drying and packaging.
“Generally speaking, the flow and the pattern, everything is kind of occurring within the building, so you really don’t see much going on outside,” Colwell said.
Since there is no retail space, parking will be provided only for people going there to work. Some light demolition of the building and small plumbing changes were all that was necessary to make accommodation for the manufacturing aspect of the business, according to Colwell. The building itself and roof must also be updated to meet building code.
In other business, Selectmen voted to execute a union contract with the firefighters’ union and voted on whether to make recommendations to special Town Meeting warrant articles.