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North Adams Garage Owner Gets Permit Reprieve
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:07AM / Tuesday, May 09, 2023
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The amended plan submitted by Sparkboro Wellness for a cannabis dispensary has slight modifications from two years ago.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Nite Owl automotive repair was found to be in compliance with its permit.
"I would say that he is compliant at this time," said Building Inspector William Meranti at Monday's Planning Board meeting. "My check has been with the limit set for up to 12 [vehicles] allowed on the lot. 
"The front of the building has been cleaned up, the work around the window has been finished. Pleased to say that I would call it compliance."
Owner William Gardner had been put on notice last month that his special permit would be revoked if he couldn't keep the number of motor vehicles on his property under control. He's been fined and cited in the past.  
"One thing that I found that is extremely important is cars cannot be on that sidewalk, not ever be on that sidewalk," said Chair Brian Miksic. "And that's happened many, many many times."
Gardner had acknowledged that the number of cars on the lot had gotten excessive. Numerous people on Facebook had written about his willingness to allow his customers to take time paying their bills. Gardner also said it was sometimes difficult to get parts in a timely manner. 
The owner did not speak at this meeting, nor did several people who appeared to have attended to support him. Councilor Marie T. Harpin, Jennifer Barbeau and Wayne Wilkinson were also in attendance. 
Planner Lisa Blackmer, also a city councilor, said this issue had been one of the biggest responses she'd seen as to people coming up to talk to her about it. 
"I'm very supportive of the business so I just kind of want to put that out there and as far as being on the Planning Board, I think the only thing that comes anywhere near close is the glamping," she said, in terms of public response.
Miksic wondered about postponing the decision for another month to ensure compliance; Blackmer suggested a 90-day review. 
Planner Kyle Hanlon initially motioned to vote down the revocation and then amended to add a 90-day compliance check that passed unanimously. 
In other business: 
The board approved the application of Creative Soul LLC of Adams to operate a school for dance and wellness at 37 Main St. in the Berkshire Plaza. 
The dance studio will take over 3,200 square feet on the second floor and hold classes Monday through Saturday.
"We offer a variety of dance disciplines — ballet, modern jazz, tap and hip hop. Our students start as young as 3 years of age," said owner and instructor Ashley Oladehin. "We also offer adult dance and fitness classes so like zumba, barre, Pilates, yoga, salsa and contemporary. ...
"We're just really excited to bring this business to downtown North Adams."
• The board approved an amended plan by Porches inn to shift its 11-room addition 12 feet farther north on Veazie Street. Berkshire Hills Development Co. purchased the adjacent property at 38 Veazie for $400,000 on March 3. Attorney Jeffrey Grandchamp said no other changes will be made and that the single-family house at 38 Veazie will not be part of the hotel as it is in an R5 zone. 
• The board approved a resubmitted plan by Sparkboro Wellness NAMA Corp. for property at 1268 Curran Highway to build and operate a marijuana retail dispensary in an I-1 zone. The plans approved in 2021 had run out in January. The new application includes modification of the driveway farther to the south at the recommendation of the state Department of Transportation.
The house on the site has been demolished and construction is expected to be completed by year's end with an opening in February.
In response to questions about traffic control, attorney Philip Silverman said he did not think there would be the same crowd issues seen a couple years ago when dispensaries first opened, but that the owners were agreeable to having a police detail for the initial opening days. He said they would consult with the police chief.
He also said new owners with experience in the cannabis industry will be taking over the company from Shake and Bake Holdings LLC.
• The board welcomed new member Dean Bullett, a former airport commissioner who was appointed to the seat left vacant Lynette Ritland Bond. 
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