The Hamilton Co., which owns the office building at 392-398 Chestnut Hill Ave. in Cleveland Circle, today sued to try to block plans by an Ipswich concern to turn the former Dunkin' Donuts on Beacon Street into a marijuana dispensary.
In its lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court against both dispensary operator Happy Valley and the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal, which approved the proposal on Sept. 12, Hamilton Kevinized its arguments against the proposal, charging it would become an ID-ignoring pot haven for the thousands of high-school and college students who already swarm the area in a Cleveland Circle that would quickly become gridlocked by hordes of pot buyers "from outside the neighborhood" all apparently driving in instead of using any of the nearby Green Line stops and all creating further havoc by getting into car crashes.
The proposed location is across Beacon Street from a full-service liquor store.
The lawsuit also asks the court to "annul" the zoning approval because the proposed location would violate Boston's frequently ignored half-mile buffer between marijuana establishments, since Happy Valley earlier won approval to turn the one-time Mary Ann's next to the Dunkin' Donuts into a dispensary. At the hearing on its Dunkin' proposal, Happy Valley said it would abandon that site in favor of Dunkin' Donuts because the neighborhood expressed concern about the complete lack of parking at Mary Ann's while the Dunkin' site has a dozen parking spaces.
Hamilton, which has opposed the Dunk's proposal from the start, along with Boston College, also said it is concerned about the impact of marijuana for sale on patients going for treatment at two of its tenants: Boston Evening Therapy Associates, which provides cognitive and behavioral therapy sessions, and the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, which conducts research towards cures for the inherited, fatal nerve ailment.
The practices at the Hamilton Property involve delicate operations and the patients tend to be already nervous when they visit.
Their nerves would only be further frazzled when they find Hamilton's parking spaces filled with Happy Valley customers, the landlord charges.
Among those who spoke in favor of the proposal at the zoning hearing, at which the board gave the project a conditional-use permit for the sale of marijuana and a variance for being closer than a half mile to the shop it says it won't open: State Rep. Michael Moran, who said a heavily regulated dispensary would be far preferable to the old Mary Ann's or the Dunkin' Donuts - in a neighborhood that had had problems with Mary Ann's in particular for decades , and which he said had voted 90% in favor of legalized marijuana.
The Brighton Allston Improvement Association also supported a pot shop at the old Dunk's, saying its parking spaces would get both customers and delivery vehicles off the street, unlike at the Mary Ann's site.
The proposed shop, which was also approved by the Boston Cannabis Board, needs approval of the state Cannabis Control Commission. It would be Happy Valley's second Boston shop - it currently runs a dispensary in East Boston.