Some Brick residents contacted Shorebeat on Monday, confused as to whether the planned hearing on a proposed medical marijuana dispensary and grow house was still on schedule to be taken up by the township’s Board of Adjustment on Wednesday.
The short answer: yes, the hearing will be held as planned at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Civic Plaza, 270 Chambers Bridge Road.
As for the long answer, the confusion began when a legal notice was published in the newspaper and taped to the front door of town hall on Monday. The notice said the Board of Adjustment’s Jan. 9 meeting had been postponed. Technically that’s true, but the postponed meeting was the board’s reorganizational meeting that it must hold once a year (the reorganization meeting is considered separate from the special hearing). That meeting is now set to be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to a new round of public notices issued Monday.
The meeting at which the application for the dispensary, Jersey Shore Therapeutic Health Care, will be discussed is a special meeting paid for in advance by the applicant. When an applicant pays for a meeting, it is automatically labeled a “special” meeting of the board and is the only item on the agenda. That meeting is, indeed, still on.
Shorebeat confirmed with a representative from the township that the hearing is scheduled. The last time a hearing was attempted, in November, overcrowding in the council chambers at town hall caused it to have to be postponed. This time, the meeting will be held at Civic Plaza, which is a much larger venue. (Civic Plaza is a former strip mall owned by the township that also houses the Recreation Department, Chamber of Commerce, a pizzeria and space for EMS workers).
Sources have also told Shorebeat the proceedings may become even more complicated this time around. Additional objectors have hired attorneys who may wish to cross-examine the applicant’s witnesses or call their own to the stand in the quasi-judicial hearing.
Again, just to reiterate, the hearing is on for Wednesday night and will be held at 7 p.m. at Civic Plaza, 270 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick. We’re told extra parking is available at the nearby Warren H. Wolf Elementary School should the plaza’s parking lot fill to capacity.