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Planners recommend rezoning Brayton Point Road lot for pot facility
A former police chief in New Hampshire, director of rheumatology in Fall River and ... The non-profit would pay full real estate taxes. It would have about two-dozen employees for jobs mostly paying at least $20 an hour, Killoran said.
$7 million building upgrade for medical marijuana 'at this point'
Michael Holtzman Herald News Staff Reporter @MDHoltzman
SOMERSET – A $7 million initial conversion of a Brayton Point Road building near Route 6 would be used for medical marijuana growing and distribution “at this point,” according to the lawyer submitting a rezoning proposal at Tuesday night’s Planning Board meeting.A former police chief in New Hampshire who would head security and a director of rheumatology in Fall River who would be the medical consultant were present with the lead realty group partner that owns the propertyThey sat silently while attorney Thomas Killoran presented the rezoning plan.“The rezoning back to industrial is to put the property to its fullest and best use,” Killoran said of the 6.7-acre lot and 66,000 square-foot building that’s less than 20 percent full.The single-story building, 24 feet high is located at 1400 Brayton Point Road across from Somerset Subaru and the town highway department, in the vicinity of Stop & Shop, Home Depot and CVS.The industrial-style building requires significant reconstruction, Killoran said.Solar Therapeutics Inc., a non-profit company in Quincy, would be “the end user,” Killoran said.It’s not been determined if Solar Therapeutics would buy or lease the property, Killoran said after a 20-minute discussion with the Planning Board that asked few questions.His client is Brayton Point Reality Inc., whose president Ronald Rapoza of Somerset attended the public hearing.Rapoza said he has seven other ownersHe bought it with a larger adjacent parcel in 1994 for $2.4 million when it was zoned industrialIn 2001 the site of the former Somerset Plastics Recycling was rezoned to business in 2001 and has had an assortment of tenants.“We just put feelers out to get tenants,” Rapoza said when asked how Solar Therapeutics sought this use.It is headed by Edward Dow III of BourneDow, its CEO, issued a letter of intent to operate a registered marijuana dispensary on Dec14, 2017, to Massachusetts health officials and its medical marijuana program.// // DrRonald Rapoport, known locally as chief of rheumatology at Southcoast Health is an officer and medical consultant for Solar Therapeutics, and sat next to RapozaIn front of them was Mike Allen, former police chief in Rochester, New Hampshire for five yearsHe would be director of security for this medical marijuana project, a role he holds for the hospital in RochesterAllen later said that was how he met Dow.Rapoport said he’s spoken widely about pain control and cannabis benefits often come up“This is something that may be needed,” Rapoport said of the facility afterwards.Killoran said after the public hearing about 35,000 square feet or roughly half the space would be used for growing medical marijuana and the remainder for distribution and office space.When asked about financial impacts of the Brayton Point Road rezoning for the town, Killoran said a host agreement would pay 3 percent of gross sales for the first five yearsHe estimated it would equate to “a few hundred thousand dollars a year.”The non-profit would pay full real estate taxesIt would have about two-dozen employees for jobs mostly paying at least $20 an hour, Killoran said.More than a decade ago this property was rezoned to business, but to qualify as a medical marijuana facility under the town zoning bylaw it must be rezoned back to industrial, Killoran said.“That’s all that’s proposed at this point,” Killoran, a Fall River lawyer, said after the Planning Board voted, 3-0, to recommend the rezoning to industrial."In the future they would explore any opportunities," he told the planners.Along with meeting state requirements, they would require a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals for this use.Planner Tim Turner said there are no houses or churches around the large parcel and it meets all setback requirements.“Most people don’t even know it’s around,” Turner said recommending the rezoning.Chairman Gary Simons and member Bill Raposa Jrconcurred.Their recommendation will go to voters at the March 19 special Town Meeting.Another rezoning article on recreational marijuana to meet the new state law regulations was the subject of a second hearing, and passed Planning Board muster. Email Michael Holtzman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 508-676-2573.
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