At a recent Saddle Brook Town Council meeting, a complex debate unfolded over a proposed amendment to the space allocated for cannabis manufacturing.
The main point of contention arose when a cannabis business owner highlighted concerns over an amendment that would increase the allowable space for cannabis manufacturing from 5,000 to 12,500 square feet. The resident reported that the business had already leased a space based on the anticipated amendment, which if not approved, would jeopardize their business investment.
However, uncertainties surrounding the language of the current ordinance, especially in relation to the proximity of these manufacturing spaces to residential zones, have caused hesitation within the council. The vagueness in the language may inadvertently exclude businesses from designated areas meant for cannabis operations. One phrase in particular – stating that no cannabis operations should occur “a thousand feet from a residential Zone” – was highlighted as problematic.
While council members like Florence Mazzer and Todd J. Accomando expressed confusion and concerns about the proposed changes, particularly the sudden leap in square footage, the council advised the concerned company to attend a forthcoming work session to iron out the details.
Amid these discussions, some members vocalized reservations. One member voiced strong skepticism about the proposed increase in square footage, questioning its sudden nature and the absence of any precedent from the state. They also expressed concerns about potential odors and the unknowns surrounding large-scale cannabis operations.
Outside of cannabis, Mayor Robert D. White shared positive updates about the town. Property assessments have risen while the tax rate dropped. Third quarter taxes are expected to be dispatched in mid-September. Infrastructure projects and community events, including the National Night Out event and the upcoming 9/11 ceremony, were also discussed.
Other notable subjects included business operating hours and a notable discrepancy in the bid for a project. While the town’s engineer estimated $775,000 for the project, the received bid stood at $982,000, leading to deliberations about the feasibility of re-bidding. The council also addressed concerns about the hours of operation for massage parlors, hinting at potential zoning violations. Parking matters, specifically regarding handicap spaces, also featured in the discussions.
As the meeting concluded, the council urged residents to enjoy the end of their summer and extended well wishes to the town’s students, teachers, and parents as they prepare for the upcoming school year.