Hadley Planning Board OKs ciderhouse tasting room

  • Hadley Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/4/2022 10:00:00 PM

HADLEY — A North Hadley ciderhouse is being allowed to move forward with establishing an outdoor tasting room.

The Planning Board on Tuesday approved plans from Carr’s Ciderhouse at 295 River Drive  to offer the new tasting area, so long as a sufficient number of parking spaces are available off the state highway.

Jonathan Carr, who owns the business, presented a hand-drawn plan showing about 10 parking spaces. Carr said this parking area should be sufficient for the amount of patrons expected at the location, where a small farm shop is already set up that sells various products, including hard cider, cider vinegars and cider syrup, along with a freezer with chickens and lamb.

“We just want a low-key space to get a few more people in,” Carr said,

If the new parking spaces don’t accommodate the demand, Carr said he might go to a reservation system for customers.

Planning Board Chairman James Maksimoski said officials will not allow vehicles to park at the the edge of the road.

In addition, board member Joseph Zgrodnik said the site must have a clear entrance and exit, with vehicles not allowed to back up into the road.

The approval is subject to reconsideration if problems arise, said Clerk William Dwyer.

In other business, Eric Schwartz, a co-founder with James “J” Jasper of a regional cannabis cooperative, told planners that the property at 319 River Drive is being examined for growing cannabis. The idea, Schwartz said, would be to maintain the existing organic agriculture at the Five College Farms site, while adding cannabis to the mix.

If the project is pursued, a special permit would be needed, though Maksimoski said the cooperative would have to follow various town regulations, including limits on how much cannabis can be grown and raising the crops inside a building that is dark to the sky. But addressing the possible concerns from people living nearby could be more difficult.

“You may run into some severe resistance from neighbors,” Maksimoski said.

Zgrodnik said that much of the land, as he understands it, is in the state’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction program. That would prohibit cannabis crops from the site.

Meantime, planners waived site plan approval for a new used car dealership at 71 Lawrence Plain Road for Jesse Reynolds, who told the board that all vehicles will be kept behind an existing fence and that the operation will be identical to its predecessor, Mountain View Auto Sales. The new operation will not affect the neighboring Creamy Delights ice cream stand.

The board also approved an entertainment license for Barstow’s Dairy Store & Bakery so that bands can play music at the 172 Hockanum Road site until 7 p.m.

Denise Barstow Manz, education manager at the store, said the license is primarily needed for the monthly Burger Night held on Tuesdays, along with occasional other special events.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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