US (MA): Proposed cultivation expansion appears to be disapproved

Anything can change over the course of a month, but most members of the Board of Planning and Community Development (BPCD) currently appear disposed to approve an amendment to the site plan the board originally approved for Uma Cultivation. A public hearing on Uma’s proposal to double the size of the building first approved by the BPCD concluded at the board’s meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 5. The cultivation operation is located at 706 Petersham Road. “At the last meeting,” company attorney Valerio Romano told the board, “the controversial issue was the fact that tree cutting had begun.”

He said questions had been raised as to whether Uma had felled a number of trees to allow for the expansion of the originally proposed building in violation of conditions set forth in the special permit granted by the board.

“Uma had not finished working with our engineers and Tighe & Bond to satisfy conditions (of the permit),” said Romano. “Since then, we have in fact satisfied those. I believe you have a report from Tighe & Bond that we are in compliance with that section, no matter how we read it.” Tighe & Bond is the consultant employed by the board to review site plans and review questions of compliance with the special permit. “With that,” Romano concluded, “I want to turn it over to the board for their direction as to how to proceed.”

At a previous installment of the public hearing, board member Rick Hayden had suggested that Uma agree to limit the canopy — or area — proposed for cannabis cultivation to the size previously agreed upon, even though the building to be constructed would be twice as large as first proposed. Hayden suggested that Uma stipulate that only 6,700 square feet of its original 10,000-square-foot building will be used for cultivation. The remainder of the new structure would be used for office space, storage, and other purposes. Romano at that time agreed to the condition.

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