NEW BRITIAN, Conn. (WTNH) — A marijuana cultivation site was approved Tuesday in New Britain after a packed meeting where dozens of neighbors voicing their opposition.
The New Britain Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved CCC Construction’s application to turn a former Webster Bank resource center on Slater Road into a cannabis warehouse.
“They voted to approve this because it will have substantial impacts on the grand’s list,” said Jack Benjamin, New Britain’s director of planning and development. “It will prevent a building that is a very unique building and a unique location from becoming blighted and potentially having more detrimental impacts on the neighborhood.”
Some neighbors who live next door to the potential warehouse have been against the idea.
“This is a residential neighborhood and a facility like that doesn’t belong here,” said Judith Boyle, a 50-year resident of the Slater Road neighborhood.
They’re worried about possible traffic and the smell.
“Why should we have to get used to that smell?” said Shelley Vincenzo, a neighbor who spoke during the meeting. “We have established roots in this neighborhood and our health and welfare should not be overlooked just because the city is looking to generate tax revenue.”
Michael Ceccorulli, an attorney for CCC Construction, said the distribution and cultivation site would not produce more traffic than any other business that has occupied the space. It would not be open to the public, and all of the growing would happen indoors.
“One goal for this project is to blend into the background in this neighborhood, and be an unremarkable site,” he said.
Ceccorulli said the site is one of the two locations in the city that has the capacity to be a cannabis warehouse. The other is a Costco.
The cultivation site would also create more than 100 new jobs in New Britain.
Some neighbors who opposed the warehouse left the meeting feeling like they weren’t heard.
“Everything that we spoke, we gave reason after reason,” Marilyn Rodriguez said. “People came here, I came straight from work, and they just didn’t care.”
With the approval, the board also voted to require CCC Construction to install an odor control mitigation system to prevent any smell.
Construction is expected to start within the next six months, pending design work and city issuance of building permit and related entitlements.