“We're looking to the city of Fall River to start to back the citizens of Commonwealth Ave and Heritage Court,” Grace MacDonald Nay pleaded with city council members. “We need help."
At the most recent session of the Fall River City Council, which featured both the current members and newcomers elected into office last week, an amended resolution was passed by a unanimous 7-0 margin.
Residents of neighborhoods bordering the Northeast Alternatives Dispensary near the border with Tiverton asked the current and future councilors to help negate issues with the city’s lone legal recreational location.
Those issues include traffic, noise and odor complaints. The amended resolution will be sent to finance committee as well as various others as it does concern many different corners.
One of the neighbors made an appearance at the council session representing her community and described the scene on a daily basis near her home.
“I have recordings of noise that happens all night long - humming noises, hissing noises, loud noises at 6 o'clock in the morning,” MacDonald Nay said. “I've been woken up as I live across the street. We have taken video of these noises. It's constant. You can't open your windows in the summertime because of the smell."
She alleges customers are consuming cannabis and various products immediately after leaving the dispensary.
"The traffic study, as we got more information, we learned was never completed,” MacDonald Nay claimed. “It was based on the liquor store that was originally there. We’re talking night and day, here. We have families. We have noise that's happening. There are two houses near the property that have three school-age children in each of them.”
Other concerns include property values on homes in the neighborhood and mail not being delivered on time due to obstructions at mailboxes for postal workers.
"How this facility was deemed a retail property is well beyond me,” MacDonald Nay said. “Because if you look at the percentage of that property that’s being used for retail versus to grow marijuana and manufacture edibles then you have to look at the big difference between a retail space and what is actually happening in the building.”
Current and future councilor Leo Pelletier said in response that Fall River needs more locations and more variety to alleviate the crowded business at Northeast.
"We definitely have to step in somewhere but how can we curtail this?” Pelletier asked. “I don't know if we can stop these guys. I think some of the problem is that you only have one recreational location in the city.”
The long-time councilor referenced the issue in the Commonwealth with licensing dispensaries as one of the variables creating problems in the city.
“Everything is at a standstill right now because of the bribes and everything else,” Pelletier said. “But it doesn't do us any good. I say no more than 8 but don't leave it at one. Spread it out through the city of Fall River."