Litchfield nixes pot sales, OKs charging stations

John McKenna

Nov 21, 2022

LITCHFIELD – The Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday responded to the result of a Nov. 8 referendum in which voters overwhelming supported a ban on the commercial sale of cannabis in town.

By a unanimous vote following a public hearing, the commission changed its regulation on cannabis to prohibit establishments from selling the product. The vote to change the regulation included a repeal of a moratorium on cannabis sales that had been in place for about a year.

Voters in the referendum supported a ban on cannabis sales, with 2,365 of them supporting a ban and 1,864 voting against a ban. State law allows municipalities to prohibit cannabis sales.

The commission also amended regulations pertaining to the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. Provisions in the amended regulation outline the requirements an applicant seeking to install a charging station must meet.

The commission was cautioned against approving the proposed change by resident Perley H. Grimes Jr., who said the public hasn’t had a chance to weigh in on the proposal.

“I suggest you continue the public hearing so the public can learn what could be allowed in residential zones if this change is approved,” Grimes said.

Commission Chairman Carol Bramley, noting that charging stations on residential property must meet setback requirements, said that the commission had been discussing the proposed amendment for months and that the public had plenty of opportunity to learn about it.

The commission closed the public hearing and voted unanimously to approve the proposed amendment.

In another action following a public hearing, the commission amended regulations pertaining to solar energy systems. The amendment, acting land use officer Martin Connor said, will provide the commission with better direction as it considers applications for roof-mounted, wall-mounted and ground-mounted solar energy systems.