HAVERHILL — A City Council committee has selected a portion of the Broadway Business Park off Route 97 — home to a Target Store and several manufacturing companies — as its preferred site for a regional medical marijuana dispensary in the city.
The commercial park on Computer Drive, which is just off Interstate 495’s Exit 50, is less than a mile from the high school in the northwestern section of Haverhill. The park includes an abandoned retail building that was a Lowe’s store until a few years ago.
The council’s Administration and Finance committee has been reviewing six possible sites for a dispensary for several months. The council must establish a dispensary zone or risk the possibility that an applicant would be allowed to open one anywhere in the city it chooses, City Solicitor William Cox said.
Specifically, the committee’s recommendation carves out a roughly 10-acre subsection of the park and excludes property that directly abuts Route 97.
The committee will now forward its recommendation for the full council for final approval. Councilor Colin LePage, chairman of the committee, said he expects the zoning measure will be ready for the council to vote on by the end of the month. It still has to be put into a legal document with a map outlining the zone, LePage said.
The Broadway Park is also the preferred site the police and fire departments. Letters from the police chief and fire chief said the park is the best location for a dispensary based on public safety, traffic, highway access and open land.
Council President John Michitson, who attended last night’s meeting but is not a member of the Administration and Finance Committee, said the park is his least favorite of the six options the committee considered. Michitson said he intends to oppose the site when the proposal comes …read more