Pot Purveyor Gets Planning Board Approval for Dispensary on Route 1 on the Darien-Stamford Border

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A retail marijuana seller has just received approval by the Stamford Planning Board to open a store on Route 1 at the Stamford-Darien border, where the Boatyard BBQ & Grill is now located, First Selectman Jon Zagrodzky said in an announcement issued Wednesday.

The Stamford Zoning Board will schedule a date for a public hearing.

“Marijuana remains troubling for many reasons, not the least of which is its negative effect on driving skills and on the development of our young people,” Zagrodzky said ‘The opening of a cannabis business so close to the Darien border is deeply concerning, which is why our own Planning & Zoning Commission recently initiated zoning rule changes to ban stores like this.”

The CT Examiner reported on April 11 that the Stamford board voted unanimously to recommend that the Zoning Board approve the application from Nautilus Botanicals.

“So far there is little opposition to the Nautilus Botanicals proposal,” the article said. “Planning Board members said the site [at] 1308 East Main St., is well-suited to a retail marijuana store because it is set among businesses – not homes or schools – on a wide road with a paved lot that offers ample parking.”

Zagrodzky begs to differ.

Proposed Pot Dispensary

Look 200 feet north of the proposed pot dispensary at 1308 East Main Street, Stamford, and there’s a house on Brookside Drive, and two more to the northeast and east. Then there are trwo residential buildings to the north west. Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s is across the street and over the bridge. At the north side of the bridge, Noroton River is 50 feet wide.

“This action by the Planning Board raises a number of concerns. The outlet will be uncomfortably close to multiple preschools (Noroton Presbyterian Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, St John’s Catholic Church, Darien YMCA) as well as Hindley Elementary School,” the first selectman said in the announcement.

“Longstanding businesses in the area are sure to be adversely affected, including The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s, which is right across the street.” The restaurant appears to be the only Darien business in the area, some Stamford businesses are not far away.

Despite statements from Stamford Planning Board members (as reported by CT Examiner), the dispensary in fact would be near homes — within 200 feet of three homes at the southern end of on Brookside Drive, a private road just on the other side of the Noroton River, the narrow stream separating the two municipalities. Two other residential buildings on the Stamford side are about the same distance away.

“The Town of Darien will work to ensure that affected residents and businesses are aware of important meetings as well as their rights in this process, including how future decisions might be appealed,” Zagrodzky said.

“I object to the decision of the Stamford Planning Board,” the first selectman concluded, “and I urge those with similar concerns to stay apprised of the approval process and make their voices heard.”

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