Category Archives: Development Review Board

DRB Permit Application Number: 23-01 Findings and Decision March 5, 2023

Town of Newfane, Vermont Development Review Board Appeal of Zoning Administrator Decision Findings and Decision  March 5, 2023

Re: Change of use from food service to retail Permit Application Number: 23-01

Newfane Development Review Board (DRB) held a public hearing February 7, 2023 that was continued to March 1, 2023 to consider appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s action regarding application 23-01 for the change of use from food service to retail at 386 VT Route 30, Newfane (Tax Lot ID# 00D175). Per section 333 of the Newfane Zoning By-Laws, a change of use for a commercial establishment requires DRB approval.

Appellant MJJ Realty LLC (represented by member Jason Freeman) proposes to operate a cannabis retail store at the site of a former restaurant, subject to any and all applicable local, state and federal permit approvals.

Guiding Policy Provisions
Town of Newfane Zoning Bylaw adopted February 19, 2015

Materials Submitted
Preliminary plat showing, among other things, property lines, sketch of right-of-way and parking area.
Findings of Fact
The site plan provided shows adequate parking, trash screening, and lighting for the business per the Newfane Zoning Bylaw

Conclusion of Law
Based on a review of materials submitted and presented testimony the Newfane DRB concludes this application as proposed and when finalized and implemented in accordance with the conditions below does meet town of Newfane zoning criteria.

Application 23-01 is unanimously approved

Pursuant to Title 24 VSA Sections 4471 and 4472, an interested person who has participated in the review of this application may appeal this decision to the Environmental Division of The Vermont Superior Court by certified mail within thirty (30) days of the date this decision is issued. A copy of the notice must also be sent to the Zoning Administrator or the Municipal Clerk who is required to provide a list of interested persons to the appellant within five days of receipt of the Notice. The appellant is required to send a copy of the Notice, via certified mail, to each interested person.

Town of Newfane Vermont
Development Review Board
David Cotton, Chairman


DRB Hearing Minutes March 1, 2023, Application 23-01 Part Two

Newfane Development Review Board Hearing Minutes March 1, 2023 Application 23-01

Jason Freeman, Michael Freeman (members of MJJ Realty LLC), George Lazarakis, David Cotton (DRB Chair), Walt Dadik, DRB, Lynn Forrest, DRB, David Lucido, (zoom) DRB, Erica Walch (DRB Secretary), David Hull (zoom) DRB Alternate)

Town Officials Merle Tessier (zoom) (Newfane Zoning Administrator), Wannetta Powling (Admin Asst to Newfane Selectboard),
Others, In-person: Aurelia Simonds, Tristan Simonds (abutters), Via Zoom: Attny. Sandy Shriver

The hearing was called to order at 6:00 PM and applicants and members of the public were sworn in. The DRB unanimously approved the minutes from the first date of this hearing (February 7, 2023).

This hearing had been continued from February 7, 2023. The applicants were asked to bring a revised application and site plan, which they did.

Applicants were joined by Attorney Sandy Shriver, who was representing the applicants and the abutters (Aurelia and Tristan Simonds). Atty Shriver informed the board that the easements on the two deeds allow for parking on the land owned by the Simonds. He further informed the DRB that the applicants are in the process of purchasing that land (parking area) from the Simonds’. There is a delay due to the lack of available surveyors. Once the land is surveyed, the transaction will occur. The DRB was provided with an Agreement to Adjust Boundary Lines related to that pending transaction.

Upon review of the newly submitted plans and application, the DRB decided unanimously that the change of use was permitted, the parking as described was adequate, the trash screening conforms with the by-laws, and the lighting proposed does, too.

The application was approved unanimously and the hearing was adjourned at 6:20 PM.

DRB Hearing Minutes February 7, 2023, Application 23-01

Newfane Development Review Board Hearing Minutes February 7, 2023 Application 23-01

Jason Freeman, George Lazarakis, Antonio Ciolfi (z) (applicants), David Cotton (DRB Chair),
Walt Dadik, DRB,,Lynn Forrest, DRB, David Lucido, DRB, Erica Walch (DRB Secretary)
Geoff Van Kirk (DRB Alternate), David Hull (z) DRB Alternate), Merle Tessier (z) (Newfane Zoning Administrator), Wannetta Powling (Admin Asst to Newfane Selectboard)

In-person: Paul Dutton, Wendy Dutton (abutters), Tristan Simonds (abutter), Priscilla Cotton

Via Zoom: Attny. Bailey LaFlam and Attny. Andrew Subin from Vermont Cannabis Solutions, on behalf of applicants, Jean Pollock, Beckley Gaudette, Aurelia Simonds (abutter)

Site Visit
A site visit to 386 VT Route 30 was held at 3:00 PM. Applicant showed the proposed layout, including parking area.

The hearing was called to order at 6:00 PM and applicants and members of the public were sworn in. The application before the DRB was for a change of use from restaurant to retail and the application listed Cynthia Hubert as the property owner and Michael Freeman as the applicant. Jason Freeman, who appeared in person, stated that when the application was submitted, the sale of the property had not been finalized, but it has now been closed. Applicants were asked to resubmit application that reflects current ownership and proposed use of the property.

A review of the tax map showed that the parking area for the proposed retail store is owned by abutter Tristam and Aurelia Simonds. The applicant presented the deed to their property which includes easements and rights of way for the abutters to access the applicant’s property, but did not present a deed for the parking area (owned by abutters) showing easements or rights of way for the business to park in the parking area. It is understood that there was some such agreement in place for the previous owner of the property (operating as Rick’s Tavern). Tristam Simonds, the owner of the parking area, said he had not been approached by the applicant about using the land for parking.

The applicants gave details about the exterior of the building, which would not undergo any immediate changes, but they stated they might re-side the building in the future. DRB Chairman noted that the site plan was unclear and asked applicants to meet with their architect/planner and present a clearer site plan with parking, entrances and exits along with screening for trash areas with new application.

DRB noted that signage falls under a separate permit application and the rules can be found in section 460 of the Newfane Zoning Bylaw, trash screening can be found in section 452.3 and exterior lighting in section 480.

DRB Chairman asked abutters if they had any comments. Duttons said they had nothing to say. Tristan Simonds asked about an ADA plan and applicants said the Fire Marshall had approved their plan.

DRB Chairman asked for comments from other members of the public. Jean Pollock, Newfane resident, noted her concerns about impaired driving from cannabis customers consuming the product in their cars. Attorneys LaFlam and Subin and applicant Ciolfi noted the strict VT laws prohibiting consumption of cannabis products on the grounds or parking areas of retail stores and stated there would be signage indicating that.

After no additional comments were made by the public, the DRB Chairman continued the hearing without finding until March 1, 2023 at 6:00 PM, at which time the applicants should come back to the DRB with a new application (listing current owner of the building and the proposed usage including lighting, trash screening and parking), a written agreement or legal documentation of easement rights to use the parking area owned by the Simonds, and a clear site plan.

Continued without a decision until March 1, 2023.

Development Review Board Public Hearing, March 1, 2023,


Town of Newfane Vermont
Development Review Board
P.O. Box 36
Newfane, VT 05345
(802) 365 7772
Fax (802) 365 7692

The Newfane Development Review Board (DRB) will hold the continuation of a public hearing that started on February 7, 2023, on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at 6:00 PM at Newfane Town Hall 555 Vermont Route 30 in Newfane and via zoom. The hearing will continue to consider the application of Michael M. Freeman for approval of an application for a conditional use/change of use from restaurant to retail cannabis, for the premises located at 386 VT Route 30, Newfane, Tax Lot ID# 00D175.

Per section 333 of the Newfane Zoning By-Laws, a change of use for a commercial establishment requires DRB approval.
The application to be considered at the hearing is available for public review at the Newfane Town office, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Persons wishing to appear at the public hearing may do so in person or via zoom as well as by a representative or attorney or through a written comment.

Participation in the public hearing portion of these proceedings is a pre-requisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.

To participate via zoom: Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 264 247 7645
Passcode: 352680
One tap mobile
+13052241968, 2642477645#,*352680# US
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Newfane Development Review Board
Erica Walch, Secretary
February 22, 2023