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#MUNICIPAL #GUIDANCE: Sturbridge

The same zoning bylaw article failed at last year’s annual town meeting. While voters favored it, 139-122, it didn’t go forward because zoning bylaw changes require a two-thirds vote to pass.

However, on April 10, 2017, a related zoning bylaw calling for an 18-month moratorium on recreational marijuana passed, in a 607-442 vote, at the annual town election. Monday night’s failed article sought to amend the zoning bylaws accordingly and to prohibit marijuana businesses, according to Town Administrator Leon A. Gaumond Jr.

This is not the last time town voters will weigh in on recreational marijuana, Mr. Gaumond said.

“I, the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen still have to bring forward a bylaw before the moratorium expires,” Mr. Gaumond said. “We still have to figure out the place and the number of these things (recreational marijuana businesses). We need to know, how many are we going to permit? Where are we going to allow these things to be?”

Mr. Gaumond expects a proposed bylaw will be put before voters at a special town meeting in the fall.