Pittsfield residents fight to keep outdoor pot farms out of residential neighborhoods


PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – Some Pittsfield residents are concerned that an outdoor pot-growing operation could wind up in a residential neighborhood. They’re advocating for a zoning amendment to keep grow operations out.

“Nobody would move into a neighborhood next to a skunk farm,” said Michele Rivers Murphy. She’s fighting to keep her fresh air and backyard views.

“These are prison-like conditions, make no mistake,” she said.

She’s talking about the regulations for outdoor pot cultivation, which include fencing, 24-hour lighting, and surveillance.

“Cultivation is a good thing for income, but it belongs in the right area,” said Councilor at Large Earl Persip III. He put forth a zoning amendment that would keep commercial marijuana growing operations out of residential neighborhoods.

“The residents are worried about what the smell will be like, and what the atmosphere is like. It’s just to kind of put some regulations on this before it’s too late,” he said.

Neighbors in this thickly settled area of Pittsfield already fought to keep a solar farm out of the former Pontoosuc Country Club, and they are worried about what could come next. After two public hearings, Persip says the Community Development Board is considering compromises. The issue will be up for discussion again in February.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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