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Lowell Council Rejects Zoning Change for Site Eyed by Marijuana Company

January 30, 2019

LOWELL -- The City Council denied a rezoning petition Tuesday evening to a company owning property off Rogers Street -- a site that has been eyed by a marijuana company for retail use.

The Lowell City Council voted 8-0 to reject Phoenix Avenue, LLC’s petition for 55, 75 and 77-81 Phoenix Ave.

They were seeking to rezone the property from light industrial to retail.

An unnamed marijuana company has been looking at this property off Route 38. Marijuana dispensaries in Lowell can only be in retail or office park districts.

The zoning subcommittee last year went over the areas that would be appropriate for marijuana dispensaries, said City Councilor Edward Kennedy.

Light industrial was not one of them, he added.

“This just doesn’t sit well with me,” Kennedy said.

Mayor Bill Samaras said the city cannot afford to lose light industrial areas.

“We should stick to it,” added City Councilor Vesna Nuon of the zoning there.

Attorney Jim Bowers, representing the owner of Phoenix Avenue, LLC, pointed out that the property is surrounded by retail locations.

It’s near Hannaford Supermarket, McDonald’s and car dealerships.

The owner has only be courted by retail companies, Bowers said.

“That’s it, probably,” he said, when asked about next steps for the owner. “The council let its voice be heard.”

City Councilor Karen Cirillo was absent from the vote.

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.