Grow, Gift, Repair

#MUNICIPAL #GUIDANCE: Great Barrington

The lot, mostly on the former Nolan gravel mine at 22 Van Deusenville Road, will be home to 13 plastic-covered greenhouses and a 5,000-square-foot metal building housing a self-contained laboratory of a little more than 400 square feet.

The property, located about a mile and a half south of the center of the Housatonic section of town, is zoned industrial. Normally, Great Barrington’s zoning code allows agriculture uses on industrial lots by-right. But the town has a special bylaw (Section 7.18 of the zoning bylaws) requiring a special permit from the selectboard for the cultivation of marijuana. So the town, through its elected representatives, has the final say on whether Fulcrum comes to town.

Fulcrum has already held two community impact meetings, including one in May. Because of the timing and a delay in filings with the town and state, a third meeting was held last night.

A few attendees questioned Fulcrum’s motive in scheduling the meeting between Christmas and New Year’s Day and in insisting on holding the meeting yesterday during a winter storm that included sleet and freezing rain, which made for dangerous conditions for those who were brave enough to make the trip.

Most of the residents’ concerns were focused on odor, noise and impact on property values. Heck said Fulcrum reduced the size of the proposed grow operation “to address concerns raised in the process,” most notably noise. As required, Fulcrum hired consultants to review the noise impacts on the neighborhood. He said the project’s noise impacts would be acceptable within limits but was “close enough that we decided to reconfigure the positioning of the greenhouses.” The greenhouses will now run west to east and exhaust fans will blow to the east away from residential homes on Van Deusenville Road.