Greenjeans Farms asked to present landscape screening, fencing options for proposed Whately grow facility

  • AP File Photo/Marina Riker AP File Photo/Marina Riker

Staff Writer
Published: 1/26/2022 2:48:31 PM
Modified: 1/26/2022 2:47:14 PM

WHATELY — Greenjeans Farms must appear before the Planning Board at least one more time in February to respond to board members’ requests for screening and fencing options around the property at 149 Christian Lane.

General Manager Julie Beauchemin has presented her company’s plans to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals several times over the past couple of months, and the company is inching toward Planning Board approval. The ZBA approved a special permit earlier this month. The Planning Board, however, had indicated it would like to see a few screening and fencing options around the property before issuing final approval.

Planning Board member Brant Cheikes, who chaired the meeting in Don Sluter’s absence, said the board was working on the exact type of fencing or screening it might request of Greenjeans Farms and decided to ask the company to provide several options for board members to deliberate on.

“It gives the applicants the latitude to figure out what kind of landscape plan they want,” Cheikes said.

Greenjeans Farms is seeking to operate an indoor marijuana cultivation facility in several greenhouses located on Long Plain Farm at 149 Christian Lane, which is 530 feet from Whately Elementary School’s property line and 1,000 feet from the building itself. The Selectboard signed a host community agreement with the company in September and Greenjeans Farms has been working through the special permit and site plan review process since then.

While Beauchemin has appeared before the Planning Board several times, she presented the company’s plans again, as Tuesday’s meeting was the official public hearing on the matter. The concerns of landscape screening and fencing were not brought up until the end of the discussion.

Natural screening was proposed, although Bacon Wilson PC attorney Tom Reidy, who is representing Greenjeans Farms, said the state Cannabis Control Commission may request plants to be removed as they could provide a place for trespassers to hide at night. He added the company would be more than happy to explore natural options, but other options may need to be considered.

“If the Cannabis Control Commission comes back and says, ‘You can’t have these here,’” Reidy said, “then that’s OK. We’re happy to go down this path for you.

“What we’re trying to figure out is … what works for everybody,” Reidy added.

As the discussion continued, Cheikes and other Planning Board members decided it would be more productive to have some fencing and screening options presented to them and the public, and asked Beauchemin and Reidy to return next month.

“It seems like we either decide as a board that we’re going to set this issue aside and vote on approval tonight, or will continue the public hearing to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Board in February,” Cheikes said. “I have the impression we might be continuing the public hearing.”

If approved at the next meeting, Beauchemin said the cultivation site would most likely be up and running by the end of the year.

The Planning Board will continue the public hearing remotely at its Feb. 22 meeting at 5:15 p.m.

Chris Larabee can be reached at or 413-930-4081.


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