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Former Starbase Technologies Building Eyed for Cannabis Cultivation
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:42PM / Sunday, July 24, 2022
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A cannabis commpany is proposing to put a grow facility in the former Starbase Technologies building. Starbase, an injection molding company, closed the building last year.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Cannabis cultivator Berkshire Kind is looking to put a grow facility in the former Starbase Technologies facility at the corner of Peck's and Valentine Roads.

The Community Development Board on Tuesday approved a site plan application for the adaptive re-use of the existing 37,700 square foot building with about 25,000 square feet of cultivation space.

It was approved with conditions related to odor management and a requirement of downward casting lights.

"Basically they're looking to repurpose that existing building for cannabis cultivation so no retail sales on site, just cultivation," civil engineer Jeff Randall said on behalf of the applicant.

He added that there are no plans for other site work on the property such as curb cuts and new parking. Based on the parking formula for requirements, he said 28 parking spaces are required and there are 34 now.

The former occupant of the building, a manufacturer of injection molding tools for plastic molding, closed last year. The facility will be in addition to Berkshire Kind's construction in the William Stanley Business Park. 

A third-party review was done on Berkshire Kind's odor mitigation plan and the suggestions from that review were applied to the board's conditions.

City Planner CJ Hoss explained that the state will require community meetings and that the abutters are to be notified of the project. This is when residents will usually come forward if they have concerns, he said.

At this point in the process, there are no notification requirements from the city.

"I think it all boils down to given this a site plan review and concern with this project, just like it is for just about every cannabis cultivation manufacturing project, is odor," he said.

"So this is essentially sort of like the industry standard now of what we've been doing requiring third-party review."

The board also approved a special permit and site plan review for McDonald's on West Housatonic Street. The fast food chain wants to reconfigure the existing drive-thru to relocate the menu board and add a second one.

Along with the second menu board will be a second lane for improved efficiency.

The project has been approved by the Conservation Commission because it will involve work in the flood plain though there will not be increased fill in the floodplain.

The special permit was passed with conditions related to parking and lighting.

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