Kingston: Planning board begins planning for Town Meeting

Last night the Kingston planning board discussed articles for spring Town Meeting. They informally agreed to take a break on approving new wind turbines and new solar arrays, and to bring medical marijuana from the shadows of moratorium into the commercial district.

Wind turbines may be placed only in the turbine overlay district that includes the former landfill, the commuter rail station and land owned by Mary O’Donnell. The landfill and train station sites have no more space for a turbine. The O’Donnell property has three turbines and space for one additional turbine. With the town spending money to study the adverse effects of turbines, the planning board agreed informally on a moratorium on new ones.

Given the experience with wind turbines, the board agreed to tighten the town’s large scale solar bylaw. Board members want to know more about glare and want to prevent deforestation, limiting solar arrays to existing open space such as former cranberry bogs and sand pits.

Board members also informally agreed to take medical marijuana from the shadows to the shopping centers, considering the commercial zone preferable to the industrial zone. The decided “not to hide” dispensaries, but put them among businesses. They reasoned, people will arrive with cash and leave with marijuana so the best place is where police regularly patrol.

The move may be moot in Kingston as six businesses have expressed an interest in neighboring Plymouth. That town decided early to put medical marijuana dispensaries in its medical zone. Plymouth Selectmen have endorsed a license application, pending with the state, from a group led by Bill Delahunt. Despite some rumors, the state has not yet granted any medical marijuana licenses.

The informal discussion will turn to public hearings and debate at Town Meeting.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.