November 22, 2019

Windham Town Council considers proposed town hall office and marijuana licensing ordinance

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Town Council held a workshop on Tuesday, November 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall in the Council Chambers room. The workshop began with a proposal sponsored by Councilor Clayton Haskell regarding the expansion of Smith Cemetery.

For a portion of that expansion, Haskell is recommending a veteran, fire and police memorial be placed near Route 202 in the southwest portion of the cemetery. “With the exception of a memorial at the veterans center and the high school, there is no town sponsored dedicated space for our veterans, police and fire personnel,” explained Haskell.
Councilor Haskell also proposed a new town hall building, to be constructed in the same portion as the memorial. “The current town hall is getting cramped,” Haskell stated, explaining that Smith cemetery is the only space the town has to expand and to build new property. He mentioned that a new town facility in this location would not change the flow of or increase traffic along Route 202. “We would simply be moving the Town Hall from one side of the road to the other.”

Haskell recommended that the current town hall be used by the Parks and Recreation Department. He suggested that if a new town hall is built, Windham contractors should be hired for the construction.
All councilors concurred that a veterans and police/fire memorial is long overdue and agreed to look into placing one in or near the suggested area.

Regarding the new town hall proposal, Councilors Nadeau, Douglass, Cummings and Maxfield suggested and recommended creating a space needs analysis prior to moving forward on any new construction. Maxfield suggested adding this topic as an agenda item at the Council’s December 7, 2019 goal setting session. All Councilors agreed.

Also discussed at Tuesday evening’s workshop was the Marijuana Licensing Ordinance Proposal. Town Planner Amanda Lessard and Town Attorney Kristen Collins spoke to the Council about the revised ordinance proposal based upon the feedback received from the Council’s October 22, 2019 meeting on this subject.

Lessard spoke briefly regarding the draft changes requested by the Council. These changes included but were not limited to the following: 1) Changes in the ordinance language specifically in terms of the denial of a license and 2) Adding a grace period of 60 days for a marijuana business operating on the effective date of the ordinance.

Lessard and Collins also sought guidance from the Council regarding marijuana cultivation facilities which include size limitations/square footage of those facilities and the district locations in which they are allowed.

The following is what was determined by the Council:
For the ED District (Enterprise Drive): A 20,000 square foot cultivation facility allowed.
For the C1 Zone – No facility allowed
In the Farm Zone – No facility allowed
In the Industrial Zone – A 7,000 square foot cultivation facility allowed.

Marijuana adult use store frontage was also discussed with Lessard asking the Council if the Council has changed opinion on this subject since its October 22nd meeting. The consensus was that they want to explore adult use in subsequent meetings. The topics will include limitations on the number of licenses as well as regulations on how to operate those storefronts.

All town council meetings are televised on public access television, Channel 7 and are posted live on Facebook. For a full detail of this meeting, please visit the town website at

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