Amesbury Road Neighbor Sues to Appeal Mellow Fellows Marijuana Special Permit

Mellow Fellows plans to open at 330 Amesbury Road in Haverhill. (Courtesy rendering.)

Nearly two months after Haverhill’s City Council voted to grant Phil Brown, Tim Riley and Charles Emery a special permit to sell marijuana as the Mellow Fellows, a neighbor on Amesbury Road is contesting the zoning of their property in Superior Court.

In a civil action filed Oct. 8, Steven Eddy—filing individually and as a trustee of the 32 Wannalancet Road Realty Trust—brought suit against the City of Haverhill and all nine councilors, including Michael S. McGonagle, who owns the property in question at 330 Amesbury Road along with his sister Kathy McGonagle Darby. Eddy owns 298 Amesbury Road, which abuts the Mellow Fellows’ proposed shop.

The zoning appeal submitted by Lowell-based Attorney William F. Martin Jr. calls the restrictions the Council placed on the Mellow Fellows—no more than four appointments every 15 minutes and a shelter for security personnel—“ entirely insufficient” because the company does not yet have a host community agreement inked with Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

The suit also points out that the Council did not consider the increase in sewer use that would result from the property, leased to the Mellow Fellows by McGonagle and his sister through their Mac and D Realty partnership. Additionally, Eddy said the city failed to conduct an independent traffic study, instead relying on the “representations of the applicant.”

“An independent study would be needed to determine any increase in danger, as well as any necessary expansion of the road, and allocation of those infrastructure costs,” Martin argued in the court paperwork obtained by WHAV.

As WHAV previously reported, the Mellow Fellows did offer a presentation from traffic Vanasse & Associates consultant Scott W. Thornton during their Aug. 20 special permit hearing. Wannalancet Road was included on the site location and study area map prepared by the firm.

Martin’s appeal petitions a judge to order the city to carry out an independent traffic study and place conditions for the connection of sewer lines. The lawyer asks that a “restriction” be placed on 330 Amesbury Road until the host agreement is signed.

Mellow Fellows Attorney Jim Smith tells WHAV his clients—all Haverhill residents—are moving forward with the host community agreement and various requirements set forth by the Cannabis Control Commission in order to receive state licensure.

Simply put, says Smith: “The decision is final and it has been recorded at the registry of deeds. The appeal was not timely filed.”

The Council’s decision was filed with the Haverhill City Clerk’s office on Sept. 4, and all appeals must be filed within 20 days.

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