NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Residents in New Britain’s Slater Road neighborhood aren’t happy about a new potential neighbor — a 133,000-square-foot cannabis cultivation and distribution site.
“It smells like a skunk,” said Shelley Vincenzo, who lives in the area.
The Rocky Hill-based CCC Construction wants to transform the former Webster Bank building and has already cleared the zoning ordinance process, into a cannabis site.
But neighbors point to five schools within a half mile. Carmelo Rodriguez, who lives in the area, said residents didn’t know the proposal involved marijuana.
“Lack of common sense that something like this would be brought in the middle of a residential area,” Rodriguez said. “No one knew it had to do with marijuana.”
Vincenzo said she asked people who live near a cultivator in Simbury for their experience and heard that it “constantly smells.”
Zoning ordinances written last year allow three cannabis businesses in New Britain. The Slater Road site is in a neighborhood, and two other applications have already been approved.
The city said the Slater Road facility is a good fit for what a warehouse needs.
“It has the proper safeguards,” said Jack Benjamin, the director of planning and development for the city. “It’s a very secure building. A lot of the concerns about odors and nuisances are likely going to be mitigated by the actual security measures in place.”
Benjamin said the biggest benefit will be the tax revenue and job creation. But neighbors said the tradeoff isn’t worth it.
“I hope the city realized there’s more than just making a profit and getting tax revenue,” Vincenzo said. “This is our livelihood, and it’s not fair to us.”
Residents will get the chance to speak at a zoning board of appeals meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.