The owners of the long-proposed medical marijuana facility on Railroad Street are asking for a change in their special permit to allow for a park and fly parking lot on a portion of its property.
Attorney Lawrence Simeone, Jr., representing owners Wellness Connection and Gunnar Holdings, said that due to changes in the marijuana industry, his clients are no longer proposing to construct a large cultivation building. Instead, he said they are looking to operate a 220 space park and fly parking facility on the property at 44 Railroad St.
The City Council approved the original site plan for the medical marijuana facility at 30-44 Railroad St. in 2015.
“These modifications and changes to the original site plan emanate out of industrial changes to the way business is done today as opposed to the way we thought it was going to happen in 2015,” said Simeone. “It has made it more economical for us to make these changes while moving forward with the business for which the special permit was granted.”
In the original site plan, there were 88 parking spots for the marijuana business. With a nearly 40,000-square-foot cultivation building out of the picture, Simeone said his applicants are looking to reduce the number of parking spaces to 39 for the business.
“That would leave us the remaining area for the operation of a park and fly, which ends up being 220 spaces,” said Simeone.
An attorney representing several businesses abutting the property, Durant Performance Coatings and Burbank Realty Trust, said the project could interfere with an easement his clients have to access their properties.
“Just as a general matter, the park and fly is currently operating on the site and it has been for months without a permit,” said Bradley Croft of Boston-based law firm Ruberto, Israel & Weiner.
Croft said there are vehicles that are parking on his clients’ properties and causing obstructions.
“The Licensing Commission has not issued a license for parking lot operations at that location, because the business has not applied for a parking lot license,” said Jackie McLaughlin, communications associate for Mayor Brian Arrigo. “However, the business would first need to get a special permit before they could apply for a license, so the process (absent the allegations of operating without a permit) is being followed.”
The License Commission has not investigated it because they were not made aware of any allegations or complaints about unlicensed operations, McLaughlin added.
“Because of this, they are not sure if the attorney is correct or not,” said McLaughlin. “If we had received the complaint, the Licensing Board would have investigated with the proper channels – in this case, parking lots are licensed under MGL Chapter 148, so they would have reached out to the Revere Fire Department.”
Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna said the park and fly would be in her ward, and that she currently doesn’t have an issue with it.
“I understand that there are a couple of businesses down there, but I just don’t see a problem with it,” McKenna said. “It’s hidden from the public, you can only see it from Winthrop Avenue, and it’s a big lot. If it’s going to give revenue to the city, I’m in favor of it.”
The council’s zoning subcommittee will take up the issue at its Nov. 22 meeting.