PLANNING BOARD MEETING TOMORROW NIGHT, SHIRLEY CHISHOLM TONIGHT AT 7

Update re: Planning Board's marijuana bylaw proposals.  Make your voice heard.

On Tuesday, Feb. 11th at 7:00pm in Town Hall, the Williamstown Planning Board will continue its discussion of marijuana bylaws as it works towards presenting its final version to Town Meeting in May. Our existing zoning bylaws allow both indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation by special permit in the Rural Residence 2 and 3 and Limited Industrial zones. The Planning Board's latest proposals to amend these bylaws have been recently posted at  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-GkVAETqcl2o8ndbcci_vs3ZpF12HIhjZ74DY5XGDaE/edit  (see pages 5-9 for marijuana proposals).

The Planning Board welcomes public input!

 The Board's proposals to amend our existing marijuana bylaws include the following two Articles that lead to opposite results regarding the legality of outdoor cultivation:

 1. Article C – Marijuana Regulation Reform. This article prohibits outdoor cultivation altogether throughout Williamstown and allows indoor cultivation by special permit in the Planned Business and Limited Industrial zones. The article also imposes development standards for indoor cultivation relating to odor control and mitigation, renewable energy, and expert review.

 2. Article D – Outdoor Cultivation of Marijuana. Unlike Article C, this article allows outdoor cultivation by special permit in all Rural Residence and Limited Industrial zones. This article imposes the same development standards for indoor cultivation as are stated in Article C, but adds development standards for outdoor cultivation relating to lot area, setback, screening, lighting, odor dispersal, and expert review.

 For background information, you can watch a tape of the Planning Board's discussion of these issues at its January 14th meeting at  https://www.willinet.org/municipal-meetings/.  The iBerkshires article regarding that meeting is at https://www.iberkshires.com/story/61533/Williamstown-Planning-Board-Weighing-New-Pot-Bylaw.html

Draft minutes of the Board's January 14th meeting are at  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uurwwKRE-lb-g0CqdyRew38PFAIvWX-87sA9McREqz8/edit

Last year, an application for a special permit for an outdoor marijuana plantation on Blair Road was presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals by Massflora, a subsidiary of a Colorado-based company. For more information about the ZBA proceedings on that proposal, see https://www.iberkshires.com/story/59563/The-Fear-of-Smell-Pungent-Pot-Plants-Worry-Williamstowners.html and other articles posted at iBerkshires.com. In May, Massflora withdrew its application for a special permit.

chISHOLM ’72: UNBOUGHT & UNBOSSED

Monday, 2/10

Starring: Shirley Chisholm, Walter Cronkite, George Wallace

Guest Speaker: Barbara Winslow, founder and director emerita of the Shirley Chisholm Project. She will have copies of her book Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit Images Cinema.

Winner of a Peabody Award and nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, this powerful documentary follows the career of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman ever to run for President of the United States. A teacher in Harlem, Chisholm had a passion for progress, which brought her to local politics, then a seat in Congress, and ultimately a run for the presidency in 1972. With archival footage and contemporary interviews, including with Walter Cronkite, George Wallace, and Chisholm herself, this provocative film is a testament to Chisholm’s “sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo”.

  • Director: Shola Lynch
  • Runtime: 1 hour 16 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary