By Alberto Gilman
The Town of Newburgh Board hosted a public hearing on December 27 to seek comments from the public on a proposed local law for a Cannabis Zoning Amendment for the town. The town board did not make any movements on the local law as they are awaiting comments from Orange County.
Mark Taylor of Rider Weiner & Frankel PC and the acting town attorney, provided a brief overview of the local law for the public prior to the comment period. Currently in the town, the dispensary known as Curaleaf operates along North Plank Road.
“New York State has now adopted laws, state laws which allow certain types of cannabis related establishments or uses to be licensed by the state to conduct business within the state. This local law seeks to propose reasonable time, place and manner zoning restrictions on those uses, which may obtain licenses to operate premises within the Town of Newburgh,” said Taylor. “There are various types of licenses that can be issued and so we’ve tried to comprehensively address each type of potential license that might be issued to businesses within the town, except for agricultural uses. The local law will add definitions of cannabis distribution facilities, cannabis medical dispensaries, cannabis micro businesses premises, cannabis onsite consumption premises, cannabis processing facilities and cannabis retail dispensaries.”
One comment addressed hours of operation for these types of facilities to which Taylor clarified is not addressed in the local law. The restrictions may be imposed by the state and the town board may consider imposing those specific restrictions later on. Another comment about the state licensing for these facilities was also addressed by Taylor. “Only state licensed facilities are considered as permitted under this local law,” said Taylor. “If it’s not state licensed, it’s not allowed under zoning code either.”
According to legal documents created by Rider Weiner & Frankel PC, the local law defines and permits certain uses determined by the State of New York when licensed for cannabis in various zones along with amended terminology and definitions of various distance requirements for these facilities.
Most approvals or permits according to the local law shall not be issued to the various proposed facilities either within 200 or 500 feet of a designated area such as a public field or park, drug or alcohol treatment center, daycares and dwelling units.
Businesses will need to appear before the town planning board and seek approval for special use permits. The local law also requires that the facilities have required state licenses, safety plans, required disposals and maintenance plans. The local law in its entirety is available on the town website for public viewing to address any further questions.