The Dresden Planning Board will hold a public hearing for a medical marijuana greenhouse on Dodge Road on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The board found a site plan review application submitted by Brian Fifield to be complete during its Tuesday, Aug. 16 meeting.
Fifield, of Casco, submitted the application for the construction of a greenhouse for the purpose of growing medical marijuana on Dodge Road in Dresden. Fifield is registered with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to participate in the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program as a caregiver with growing rights.
The proposed greenhouse would be used for growing medical marijuana “to help ease the pain and suffering of state-licensed sick and/or terminally ill cancer patients,” according to Fifield’s application.
The planning board considered Fifield’s operation as an agriculture products and processing use in the land use and development ordinance. The use requires a conditional use permit from the planning board and a building permit from the town’s code enforcement officer.
Chairman Jeff Pierce said Fifield’s greenhouse will be more than 5,000 square feet, which classifies it as a major project.
Fifield said he is currently pricing greenhouses to purchase. He plans to start construction of the greenhouse in September and have the work completed by the spring of 2017, according to the application.
A portion of the property extends into Alna, however, Fifield said the facility will be on the Dresden side. All access to the property is on the Dresden side of the property.
Pierce said the planning board could send Alna a letter informing the town of the proceedings in case the town has any questions.
Fifield will need to provide the board with documentation of the portable toilet he has on the property to show he has a solid waste disposal plan.
In addition, Fifield will also need to provide a plan for the containment of the organic nutrients he uses for his plants. He said he does not use any pesticides or herbicides.
There is an 8-foot privacy fence around the site, Fifield said. After the construction of the greenhouse is complete, there would be no trucks coming into the property.
The board split 2-2 on whether to assess a $625 fine for starting a project before it has gone through the application process with the town.
Pierce said he received a phone call from a friend of Fifield’s in late winter or early spring asking about the town’s process for granting the permit. Pierce said he informed the caller that Fifield would have to get a permit from the town for his operation.
Fifield said he was informed he would need to get the permits from the town, however, since he had not started construction of the greenhouse, he was not aware he needed the permit before he started growing his plants.
The matter will be addressed at a future meeting of the board when more members are present, Pierce said.
The planning board will conduct a site walk of the property at 5 p.m. prior to the board’s next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6. A public hearing on the application will follow.