Zoning for Marijuana Dispensaries to Be Addressed by Haverhill City Council

(File photograph.)

The proper zoning classification is one of the few remaining requirements needed for marijuana to be sold legally in Haverhill. (File photograph.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Haverhill’s City Council is taking steps to prepare the city for the sale of marijuana.

During this Tuesday’s council meeting, City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. is expected to submit an ordinance as part of a zoning hearing to allow for the establishment of an overlay zone that will identify areas in Haverhill where marijuana can be sold legally. The zone will include two waterfront areas near Washington Street and Merrimack Street respectively. The ordinance also received a recommendation from the city’s Planning Board and Planning and Economic Development Director William Pillsbury, but only on the condition that the overlay zone not include areas around the portion of Route 110 near Northern Essex Community College, as well as Knipe Road.

An order imposing a three percent tax on the retail sales of marijuana for adult use will also be voted on. The tax will take effect Jan. 1 if approved.

The council will also discuss the city’s master plan and the classification of taxes during the meeting.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini will address the council to both discuss a new master plan and the scheduling of a committee to help direct the progress of the plan. City Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, former Haverhill Planning and Economic Development Director Gene O’Neil, former Haverhill Mayor James A. Rurak and Pillsbury are already set to be appointed to this committee.  A master plan serves as a long-term plan that gives a general direction for how a town or city should develop itself in the future.

Councilors will also decide how much tax rates are for homes and businesses during the year ahead. The annual tax classification hearing typically pits residents against commercial and industrial interests.

Councilors meet beginning at 7 p.m. in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers, on the second floor of Haverhill City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.