There are misleading ads and literature circulating about where retail adult-use marijuana retail stores may be sited in Newton. There are only a few sites that have been approved by Zoning and Planning for the Planning Department.
On September 18, 2018, Zoning and Planning addressed docket #376-18 Zoning Amendments for Recreational Marijuana Establishments.
THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT requesting amendments to the Newton Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 30, to regulate the use of land, structures and buildings for the operation of marijuana establishments; to determine in which zoning districts and under what conditions marijuana establishments will be allowed; and to establish minimum standards and criteria.
The Draft Zoning Ordinance includes a map of the few areas that qualify for siting an adult-use retail marijuana store in Newton. It also includes the proposed standards and additional special permit criteria that these stores must meet.
The Zones being proposed for both Retail Marijuana and RMDs are the BU2, BU5, Business 4 (BU4), and Mixed Use 1 (MU1) (Attachment B). These zones are being proposed for the following reasons:
The BU2 zone is generally located along commercial strips or nodes outside of village centers.
The BU5 zone is primarily located along the western edge of the City and both BU2 and BU5 currently allow medical marijuana dispensaries.
The BU4 zone includes The Square and The Street in Chestnut Hill as well as a couple other properties adjacent to Riverside and in Newton Corner. These locations provide regional access at the edges of the City, are mostly outside of village centers, and still maintain a high level of activity to contribute to a sense of safety.
The Mixed Use 1 (MU1) zone is located along the north and southeast portion of Needham Street and is outside the village center, is mostly buffered from residential uses and still maintains vehicular and pedestrian activity. The MU1 zone currently prohibits retail establishments with less than 5,000 square feet, however in order to avoid very large destination marijuana establishments, RMDs and retail marijuana will be exempt from this provision and will be limited to a maximum of 5,000 square feet in all zones.