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November 25, 2013

Danvers eyes industrial parks as possible medical pot sites

DANVERS — The Planning Board is targeting the Danvers Industrial Park on Route 1 and the Cherry Hill Industrial Park off Conant Street as possible sites where medical marijuana dispensaries may be allowed to set up shop.

The Planning Board plans to open a public hearing on zoning tomorrow, with the aim of holding hearings in time for a Special Town Meeting on Feb. 3.

Town Meeting in May passed a one-year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, giving the town time to work out land use, zoning and other issues. One of the things the Planning Board has had to narrow down is where a dispensary might go.

”Both locations are served by excellent road access, offer a variety of available spaces suitable for a range of uses, and are geographically situated in areas that are relatively isolated from surrounding residential uses,” states a report submitted to selectmen.

Selectmen decided Nov. 5 not to add any town regulations, such as licensing, inspection or fees, to medical marijuana dispensary operations until a later date, because the law is so new. Selectmen supported the Planning Board’s medical marijuana dispensary zoning and other zoning articles presented to them at the Nov. 5 meeting.

Tomorrow’s public hearing will also open up discussion of a Tapleyville overlay district at the intersection of Holten and Pine streets, a proposal that would allow for a mix of residences and businesses in what is now an industrially zoned part of town. The neighborhood already has a number of residences set above small workshops, senior planner Kate Day said.

”The neighborhood seems to be transitioning from industrial,” Day said. The mixed-use zoning would broaden what is allowed in the area, but the present industrial district would remain.

Some see the zoning change in Tapleyville as a first step in creating an overlay zone downtown, Day said.

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