After voting in July to reject a proposed marijuana shop at the corner of Washington and Fairbanks streets in Brighton, the Zoning Board of Appeal today approved the proposal, subject to several conditions, including that the owner come back in a year for a review to see how the place is fitting into the neighborhood and to post a sign with a 24-hour number residents can call to complain about any noisy or otherwise annoying shop customers.
Pure Oasis, which already has a shop open in Grove Hall, still needs to win approval from the state Cannabis Control Commission before it can open up in what used to be Swan Cleaners. It had asked the zoning board to reconsider its July vote.
Another zoning-board condition would limit the store's Sunday hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rather than the 8 p.m. it won approval for the rest of the week - and would require BTD to work out a parking plan that calls for only two employee spaces rather than the four the shop said was possible, but which BTD said was not.
As at earlier hearings, nearby residents said the shop would cause both traffic and parking problems. A traffic study by the shop found some 124 open parking spaces along Washington Street, but residents said the study was done at the height of the pandemic, when few people were spending much time in commercial areas.
"I would like to find one of those 124 spaces when I come home in the afternoon," one resident said.
Evans said that as the number of marijuana shops increases, fewer people are driving from one neighborhood to another to buy cannabis products, which would limit the number of people driving to and from the store. His traffic study showed that at peak hours, with traffic counts of 1,085 vehicles, his shop would contribute at most 149 additional cars.
Other residents expressed concern about shop customers loitering in the area after making their purchases. Pure Oasis owner Kobie Evans said that, as in Grove Hall, he would make sure that doesn't happen.
State Rep. Michael Moran said neither he nor the neighborhood are opposed to marijuana or its sales, but that the location was just the wrong one, for the reasons cited by residents. Unusually for a zoning case, Mayor Wu also opposed the proposal. The Brighton Allston Improvement Association also urged a no vote.
The board initially voted 4-3 for approval, which would have killed the request, because state law requires at least five yes votes on zoning matters, but then voted 6-1 in favor after member Hansy Better Barraza proposed several conditions.