Notification glitch derails Lenox hearing on proposed marijuana shop

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LENOX — An outdoor public hearing on what could be the town's first retail marijuana shop had to be postponed Wednesday because of an apparent notification glitch.

Several abutters to the proposed shop who attended the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing at Roche Reading Park said they had learned of it through word-of-mouth or news coverage but did not receive formal notification from the town, as required.

“I don’t want to see us get into a situation where we have a meeting and somebody validly says, ‘Well, I wasn’t notified and I have issues with it,’ ” said board member Clifford Snyder.

The hearing has been rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2, behind the Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St. Officials said new letters would be sent to abutters, including owners of a condominium complex directly behind the proposed shop in Lenox Commons.

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Motel entrepreneur Navin Shah is seeking permission to open the store at his former restaurant site off Pittsfield Road.

During a site visit Wednesday afternoon, ZBA members focused on parking issues, since Shah’s building does not have specifically designated parking spaces, and traffic patterns accessing the building owned by Shah at the entrance to Lenox Commons.

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At the later session, several board members listed concerns they would like Shah's local attorney, Andrew Hochberg, to address at the meeting next month.

Shawn Leary Considine questioned the traffic pattern for curbside pickup at the marijuana establishment, and Robert Fuster Jr. sought a more concrete plan on the applicant’s petition and additional traffic study details.

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Hochberg explained that pickup would only involve the use of one parking space for customers to receive their purchases at a predesignated time.

“Drive-thru is strictly prohibited under the Cannabis Control Commission regulations,” added Boston-based attorney Jonathan Capano of Smith, Costello & Crawford, who represents Shah’s Krishna Lenox company.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.

This story has been amended to remove an incorrect description of the public hearing.


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