OLD SAYBROOK – Plans for a marijuana retail store off Interstate 95 were narrowly denied Monday night after drawing opposition from the police chief and first selectman.
The Zoning Commission voted 3-2 to deny Connecticut-based marijuana company Fine Fettle’s plans to open a retail marijuana store at 233 Boston Post Road, with the majority saying the business was too big for the site, and that traffic flow would be more than the parking lot could handle.
The site was one of two locations in Old Saybrook that the commission had previously approved to be medical marijuana dispensaries in 2018, though neither site ever opened as a dispensary.
When Connecticut legalized marijuana sales, the commission limited any applications for marijuana retail stores to those two sites – 233 Boston Post Road, and another on Custom Drive on the west side of Old Saybrook.
Marc Delmonico – one of the three votes to reject the application, along with Geraldine Lewis and Vice Chair Mark Caldarella – said that, while the site was previously approved as a medical dispensary that would have occupied half the building, the retail store was an expansion of use that would use the entire building.
Delmonico said the site is not appropriate for a retail marijuana outlet of that size. He also said the majority of commissioners found that there was not enough employee parking in Fine Fettle’s plans, and that the potential number of customers coming to the site was more than the existing parking lot and driveway could handle.
Chair Robert Friedmann – one of the two votes to approve the application, along with Ann Marie Thorsen – said that he believed the application met the requirements of the town zoning regulations, with the conditions the commission proposed.
Those conditions included restrictions on hours and how often customers could make appointments to buy from the appointment-only store, creating an overflow employee parking lot, and providing up to $50,000 to pay for changes to the adjacent intersection of Boston Post and Springbrook road, which serves as an off-ramp from Interstate 95.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected. The original version of this story incorrectly attributed comments made by Marc Delmonico to Mark Caldarella