Proposal for Dartmouth Marijuana Cultivation Facility Still Undecided
In March, I reported on a request for a zoning variance from Dartmouth's Claudio Arsenio that would allow her to grow marijuana on the farm she owns at 155 Old Fall River Road.
Arsenio has proposed an 8,000-square-foot "enclosed cultivation facility for medical and recreational marijuana." The Dartmouth Zoning Board of Appeals must grant the variance for Arsenio to seek the necessary permits to proceed with the project.
One major obstacle faced by Arsenio is that the property, located at the intersection with Faunce Corner Road, stands just outside the Dartmouth Marijuana Overlay District established by the town.
The Dartmouth Agricultural Commission has recommended against the proposal. The Zoning Board of Appeals has yet to issue a ruling on the request for a variance, but it did grant a variance for a now-withdrawn grow facility on State Road, rejected twice by Town Meeting members.
Arsenio has owned the farm since 2013. She says the soil is too poor and the water table too high to grow much on the farm. She says efforts to obtain grants to repair and restore several barns on the property have been unsuccessful.
The property has been used for farming since 1751.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has put off a decision on the request for a variance at least until it meets again on October 26, 2022. Board members are seeking clarification of a letter from the Massachusetts Farm Bureau that appears to support the project.
Dartmouth Week reports some board members found the Massachusetts Farm Bureau's position confusing, particularly relating to an existing residence on the farm property.