On July 18, 2022, the Tewksbury Planning Board gathered in Tewksbury Town Hall for a nearly four-hour meeting. Eric Ryder, a member, was not present.
According to Town Planner Alex Lowder’s report, Brelundi, a manufacturer of arancini, is moving forward with plans to take over the former Mirabella’s Bakery. After getting permission from the fire department and building commissioner, the company will tear down a house on the land to make more parking spaces.
In addition, Lowder stated that cleanup work is being done at the board’s request at the old Discount Madness location at 1325 Main St. while construction is delayed. Additionally, Tree House Brewing Company is currently reviewing a refrigerated drive-up order pickup station at the former salon facility at 1880 Main St. with the fire and building departments. In order to transform the country club into a craft beer enterprise next year, the company plans to begin retail beer sales in the fall.
Lowder says that the municipality just got a $193,000 grant from the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program to survey residents about floods in the area and look for ways to fix them.
The board had previously expressed dissatisfaction with the lot’s condition. Lastly, construction on a multifamily townhouse development is set to begin on the vacant lot at 2131 Main St., across from Boudreau Auto.
Lowder said that the board will meet with the Select Board to select an interim substitute to occupy the position until the spring town election in 2023 to complete Ryder’s term after the recent resignation of member Eric Ryder. With only four members left on the board, any special permit that has to be approved by a supermajority of the board must be approved by all four members; permits cannot be considered if less than the four surviving members are present.
The board spoke with Assistant Town Manager Steve Sadwick on retail marijuana. Sadwick proposed that the town adopt a license-only model, in which the Select Board would act as the special permit-giving body and the town could issue as many retail marijuana licenses as there are local liquor licenses or 20% of the total.
Sadwick claimed that Police Chief Ryan Columbus inquired about legal dispensaries in other towns, noting that such establishments tended to rigorously follow rules in order to maintain their licenses. He added that businesses would have to appear before the Select Board each year to renew their licenses.
Sadwick said that the town could support two or three retail establishments and that it had received twice as many requests from potential enterprises. The topic will be discussed at a special town meeting in October.
The next meeting is planned for August 22, 2022.