Effective November 3rd, 2021, the mask mandate will transition to a mask advisory.  This will include Holyoke municipal properties such as City Hall and the Annex.

This action does not prevent local businesses or industries from enforcing their own mask requirements.

This also does not apply to the mask mandate in the Public Schools set by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

For the latest information about  COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Recovery, click here to visit our dedicated page.

Click here to sign up for city emergency alerts

Ordinance Committee Meeting June 8, 2021

Jun 8 2021

6:30 pm Remote by Zoom

,

City Council

Holyoke Massachusetts

 

Notice of Committee Meeting

There will be a regular meeting of the committee on

Ordinance

and

Joint Hearings

with the

Holyoke Planning Board

Meeting to take place remotely on Zoom Meetings on Tuesday 6-8-21 at 6:30 PM

Per order of the Chair: Rebecca Lisi

*** Meeting will take place remotely and can be accessed via www.zoom.us

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82851266355?pwd=SlcxQzBnK2haelBTVC9UUDlYUGhvdz09

Meeting ID: 828 5126 6355 Meeting Passcode: 315989 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with same Meeting ID and Passcode.  ***

 

Agenda:

Item 1: PUBLIC HEARING (continued from 4-13-21, 5-11-21, 5-25-21) 3-2-21 Special Permit Application for Marijuana Retail and Manufacturing Establishment of Green Highland LLC to build & operate a marijuana retail, cultivation and processing establishment at 26 Hadley Mills Rd.

Item 2: PUBLIC HEARING (continued from 5-25-21)1-19-21 Special Permit Application of Mass Cannabis Growers Cooperative, LLC for a Marijuana Manufacturing Establishment at 11 Jackson St for a cultivation facility.

Item 3: PUBLIC HEARING 6-2-20 LISI -- Ordered, that the City of Holyoke create a Retail Center (RC) zone taking into account both present tenancies and desired future development of such properties, with appropriate criteria to ensure proper cohesive uses and promote continued mixed commercial / retail in Holyoke.

Item 4: PUBLIC HEARING 6-2-20 LISI -- Ordered, that the City of Holyoke remove from its Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Zoning Ordinance, Section 8.3 “Shopping Center Districts” and any other references to said zone and replace with Retail Center (RC).

Item 5: PUBLIC HEARING 6-2-20 LISI -- Ordered, that the City of Holyoke rezone the following parcels to Retail Center (RC) in an effort to create a cohesive regional destination district of mixed commercial / retail which all property owners will share the same regulations: 117-00-005, 174-00-013, 174-00-013A, 174-00-013B, 174-00-016, 174-00-017, 174-00-018, 174-00-020, 174-00-021, 174-00-022, 174-00-024, 176-00-010B, 176-00-010C, 176-00-013, 176-00-014, 176-00-014.1, 176-00-027, 176-00-028, 176-00-029.

Item 6: 2-2-21 LISI -- Ordered, that the City Council create a revolving fund to be set up for the Cities municipal rideshare funding received by the state through the Transportation Network Company (see attached).
*Tabled 3-9-21, 3-23-21, 4-27-21, 5-11-21

Item 7: 6-1-21 From the Law Department - Legal draft creating stabilization fund for marijuana impact fees.

Item 8: 6-1-21 MURPHY -- That the ordinances are updated to reflect the new June 19th holiday.

 

Administrative Assistant: Jeffery Anderson-Burgos

The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law. Also one or two items may require the committee to enter into executive session at this meeting. Agenda subject to change up to two business days (48 hours) prior to posted meeting time.

Ordinance Committee

June 8, 2021

 

Members present: Vice Chairman Juan Anderson-Burgos, Linda Vacon, Terence Murphy, Libby Hernandez

Other councilors present: Howard Greaney, Jr, James Leahy, Joseph McGiverin

 

Chairman Anderson-Burgos called the meeting to order at 6:31 PM.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that he would be chairing the meeting as Chairwoman Lisi had another commitment. He then stated that items 3, 4, and 5 would not be taken up due to legal advice that they were not properly on the agenda.

 

Councilor Vacon made a motion to remove item 1 from the table and open the public hearing. Councilor Murphy seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 1: PUBLIC HEARING (continued from 4-13-21, 5-11-21, 5-25-21) 3-2-21 Special Permit Application for Marijuana Retail and Manufacturing Establishment of Green Highland LLC to build & operate a marijuana retail, cultivation and processing establishment at 26 Hadley Mills Rd.

--->      Approved with conditions, 4-0.

DISCUSSION:

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that it had been continued from May 25th to assure that responses were properly received, which had been done. He also noted that there had been revised documents from the Planning Department and the City Engineer. He added that they needed to assure there were easements to access parking, which appeared to have been done.

Terry Reynolds, civil engineer representing the petitioner, stated that they provided documentation on use of access. He stated they were working on a joint access agreement with Trulieve.

Councilor Vacon suggested hearing from members of the public before getting into committee details.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos suggested that committee members and other councilors would normally be heard from first.

Councilor Vacon stated that her main concern was to assure there was a condition to reflect a statement on parking access from the City Engineer.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos offered an opportunity for committee members, other councilors, department heads, and members of the public to speak.

Councilor Murphy made a motion to close the public hearing. Councilor Vacon seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that there were six standard conditions applied to petitions for marijuana establishments as well as two additional conditions for this permit:
1. That the owner of the building always pay the commercial property tax rate to the extend allowed by federal, state, and local laws for the duration of the Special Permit.
2. That the business retains a minimum 30% Holyoke residents for non-security jobs.
3. That the hiring preference be given to security personnel that are retired Holyoke police or are a retired member of another police department that now lives in the city of Holyoke.
4. There shall be no marijuana consumption allowed on site.
5. That the hours of operation be set according to City ordinances.
6. That all outstanding issues identified by the Planning Department’s letter or the Engineer’s letter be addressed.
7. There are several issues related to the water and fire services serving the building that David Conti detailed in an email to you on May 21st. No building permit should be issue for this project until these issues are resolved.
8. The applicant’s counsel indicated in an email dated April 5, 2021 that an agreement is being developed between the owner of 26 Hadley Mills Road and the Trulieve project that will clarify access rights across the Trulieve parcel. This agreement is necessary in order to implement the proposed retail customer wayfinding plan submitted by the applicant’s engineer. No building permit should be issued for this project until an executed copy of an agreement that clarifies access and signage rights has been provided to City staff.
He then asked the petitioner if they accepted those conditions.

Isaac Fleischer, attorney with Bacon Wilson representing the petitioner, stated they were working out an agreement with the abutter regarding use of access passageways. He noted that two additional separate abutters all share the same access passageway, adding that all three parcels have rights pursuant to deeds. He stated that with new use, there was a question on managing the traffic. He stated they would accept the condition, adding a concern that the abutter did not have the same condition with their already approved special permit. He then asked for a reread of the condition.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos read condition 8.

I. Fleischer suggested clarifying signage rights, noting that the plan had been to place a sign on Trulieve’s property. He then stated that the access rights agreement was to allocate usage in a safe way and to share costs of maintenance. He stated that the condition implied that the agreement would be necessary for access.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos expressed concern in changing language proposed by the City Engineer, noting he is the expert advising the City Council.

Councilor Vacon suggested that if the deed already provides access rights, it would be automatically met whether or not it is set as a condition.

I. Fleischer asked if the condition would be word-for-word what was read.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that it would be.

Councilor Vacon stated that it appeared the Engineer believed that the agreement would clarify access rights across the parcel. She then stated that if the access rights are documented in the deed, that should suffice as clarification. She suggested it would not hurt anything to leave it as a condition.

I. Fleischer stated his intent was to assure they were not held to a different standard as other users of the access way. He then confirmed they would accept the conditions.

Councilor Vacon made a motion to approve the special permit with the conditions. Councilor Hernandez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that the permit would receive a vote of the full City Council on June 15th.

 

(17:10)

Councilor Vacon made a motion to remove item 2 from the table and open the public hearing. Councilor Hernandez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 2: PUBLIC HEARING (continued from 5-25-21)1-19-21 Special Permit Application of Mass Cannabis Growers Cooperative, LLC for a Marijuana Manufacturing Establishment at 11 Jackson St for a cultivation facility.

--->      Approved, with conditions. 4-0

DISCUSSION:

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that it had been continued for May 25th to assure responses were properly received. He noted there had been a letter from May 21st, with responses from May 25th that had been received at the City Council meeting on June 1st. He then stated that the responses addressed many of the comments from Planning or a plan was in place to address them in the future.

Brandon Gates stated they had no additional comments to offer.

Councilor Murphy stated he met with the investors, noting that they appeared to be trying to cooperate to provide opportunities in the neighborhood. He then stated that the proposal offered opportunities to those who would not have the resources to open their own facilities.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos offered an opportunity for committee members, other councilors, department heads, and members of the public to speak.

Councilor Vacon made a motion to close the public hearing. Councilor Hernandez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that there were six standard conditions applied to petitions for marijuana establishments:
1. That the owner of the building always pay the commercial property tax rate to the extend allowed by federal, state, and local laws for the duration of the Special Permit.
2. That the business retains a minimum 30% Holyoke residents for non-security jobs.
3. That the hiring preference be given to security personnel that are retired Holyoke police or are a retired member of another police department that now lives in the city of Holyoke.
4. There shall be no marijuana consumption allowed on site.
5. That the hours of operation be set according to City ordinances.
6. That all outstanding issues identified by the Planning Department’s letter or the Engineer’s letter be addressed.
He then asked if the petitioner would accept the conditions.

B. Gates stated that he would accept the conditions.

Councilor Vacon made a motion to approve the special permit with the conditions. Councilor Murphy seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that the permit would receive a vote of the full City Council on June 15th.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos reiterated that items 3, 4, and 5 would not be taken up.

Councilor Vacon emphasized the importance of receiving legal opinions prior to incurring the costs of publications, given the unique circumstances of certain timelines being waived. She also emphasized the importance of matters being handled timely in the interest of transparency and according to open meeting laws for the benefit of property owners who may have changes to their properties.

 

(23:30)

Councilor Hernandez made a motion to remove item 6 from the table. Councilor Vacon seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 6: 2-2-21 LISI -- Ordered, that the City Council create a revolving fund to be set up for the Cities municipal rideshare funding received by the state through the Transportation Network Company (see attached).
*Tabled 3-9-21, 3-23-21, 4-27-21, 5-11-21

--->      Approved, 4-0.

DISCUSSION:

Councilor Vacon suggested that the Admin Asst share the document on the screen.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated that the item had been taken up on a few occasions, adding that there were proposed changed before the committee would be ready to move forward. He then stated that the new legal draft removes a threshold, adding that all appropriations would require City Council approval. He then noted that there had been a request to add a section making clear that all appropriations would require a two-thirds vote for approval. He stated that the Law Department weighed in on the provision.

Councilor Vacon made a motion to suspend the necessary rules to allow Atty Wellhoff to address the committee. Councilor Hernandez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Councilor Vacon noted there had been a written legal opinion provided to address the matter.

Atty Wellhoff noted that there had been a request to add language stipulating a two-thirds majority requirement for passage. She then stated that after reviewing the matter, they had not found evidence to support the request. She noted a distinction between transfers that are from one department to another as opposed to a transfer that is from one fund to another. She then emphasized the importance of passing the order prior to the end of the fiscal year for the fund to be created.

Councilor Vacon expressed that she accepted the opinion. She noted that she requested the amendment not out of belief that it was required but to have consistency relative to transfers of money.

Councilor McGiverin expressed his support for the opinion. He observed that there is often confusion about when a two-thirds vote is required for financial transfers. He noted M.G.L. laws regarding finance supersede charter language, adding that passage of transfers are a simply majority unless both readings are on the same night

Councilor Murphy made a motion to approve the order. Councilor Hernandez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

 

(30:00)

Councilor Vacon made a motion to remove item 7 from the table. Councilor Hernandez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 7: 6-1-21 From the Law Department - Legal draft creating stabilization fund for marijuana impact fees.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

DISCUSSION:

Chairman Anderson-Burgos stated the order had been a refile following advice from the Auditor that the funds needed to go through a stabilization fund rather than a revolving fund. He added that the order would need to be approved before the end of the fiscal year.

Councilor Vacon suggested having the Admin Asst share the draft on the screen. She then noted that the refile was to clean it up and put it in the proper structure.

Chairman Anderson-Burgos suggested allowing the City Auditor to address the matter.

Tanya Wdowiak stated that the purpose was to remove the host agreement revenue from the general fund and put it into a stabilization fund so that it could be set up for further appropriation as to its uses. She added it would be based on the impact of the cannabis to the city of Holyoke. She clarified that the Division of Local Services (DLS) stipulated that the revenue must go through a stabilization fund. She added that the City Council would take votes to transfer from the stabilization fund to the general fund for programs or other purposes to cover impact costs to the city. She emphasized that the importance of passage before the new fiscal year in order to assure that the city could report on the uses in a timely fashion.

Councilor Vacon made a motion to approve the language creating a stabilization fund for marijuana impact fees. Councilor Murphy seconded the motion.

Aaron Vega noted that the DLS guidance on use of a stabilization fund had only come out in the several months.  He then stated that the revenue generated in FY’ 21 would not be in the fund without transferring it from free cash in a few months. He added that impact fee funds generated in FY’ 22 would be able to be appropriated in FY’ 23.

All members voted in favor.

 

(41:15)

Councilor Vacon made a motion to remove item 8 from the table. Councilor Hernandez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 8: 6-1-21 MURPHY -- That the ordinances are updated to reflect the new June 19th holiday.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

DISCUSSION:

Councilor Murphy stated that he received advice that the holiday should be in the ordinances, noting that the holiday was being included in contracts. He clarified that the holiday would be named Juneteenth in the ordinances.

Councilor Vacon asked if legal form was available.

Councilor Hernandez expressed appreciation that the holiday would be recognized as Juneteenth.

Councilor Murphy made a motion to approve the order. Councilor Hernandez seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Councilor Vacon made a motion to adjourn. Councilor Murphy seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

 

Adjourned 7:16 PM.


Jeffery Anderson-Burgos
Holyoke City Hall
536 Dwight St, Room 10
Holyoke, MA 01040
Regular hours 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Meeting days 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Close window