A public hearing is set for Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers.
The draft ordinance was developed using state polices and wording similar to that of alcohol ordinances, as well as some of the aspects of Clarksburg’s recently approved marijuana bylaw. A number of factors were discussed at last Wednesday’s meeting but only a couple minor changes were made.
Mayor Thomas Bernard made the development of the ordinance a priority, creating the working group in his first weeks as mayor and informing the City Council he expected to have a draft presented to councilors in February.
The members of the committee are Police Chief Michael Cozzaglio, Board of Health Chairman and ambulance manager John Meaney Jr., Building Inspector William Meranti, Superintendent of Schools Barbara Malkas, City Councilor Jason LaForest, Planning Board and Redevelopment Authority member Kyle Hanlon, License Board member Peter Breen, Zoning Board of Appeals member Ross Jacobs, Annie Rodgers, and Carissa Sacherski, along with City Planner Larysa Bernstein and Christopher Gruba of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.
One of the modifications made last Wednesday was measuring the 500-foot setback from schools and facilities catering to children to also include outdoor areas where children congregate such as playgrounds or the skate park. The ordinance more specifically measured from building exteriors rather than property lines.
Another was to add a note stating any use in the Urban Renewal Zones would be by special permit of the Redevelopment Authority since that body has singular control over those zones.