WESTBROOK – A marijuana retail store gained approval to open on the Boston Post Road from the town’s Zoning Commission on Monday night.
The Westbrook Zoning Commission voted 4-1 to allow BUDR to open the 1,500 square foot marijuana retailer at 755 Boston Post Road, a former package store near West Beach that also houses a laundromat with second-floor apartments.
The decision angered residents who showed up again to oppose the store opening, following a public hearing in November where dozens of residents said the mixed residential and commercial beach community was a bad location for the store.
Commission Vice Chair Dwayne Xenelis was the lone member of the commission to vote against the proposal, and he drew a round of applause after reading off his reasons for opposing the application.
Xenelis said the commission needs a positive referral from the Planning Committee – which did not endorse BUDR’s application after coming to a 2-2 deadlock in November. He said the possibility of children being at the laundromat or the bus stop while marijuana is being sold could create a “playground situation” that the commission specifically tried to avoid in its regulations.
“This is not the appropriate location to promote the general welfare of the region and its citizens,” Xenelis said.
Earlier, Xenelis tried to add a condition that would have made BUDR’s special permit good for only one year, and they would have to re-apply to have the permit renewed.
“In one year, we can review this and say if this was not what they said it was going to be,” he said.
The commission voted 3-2 to reject that condition. Commission member Vincent Gentile said a business needs to have certainty it can run for more than a year after the significant cost that would go into opening it.