Fine Fettle Appeal Withdrawn
The plaintiffs that appealed the approval of Fine Fettle’s Old Saybrook location have filed a motion to withdraw their appeal.
Last month, Fine Fettle. a retail cannabis store, opened at 233 Boston Post Road. The opening marked a year’s long journey to opening, but there was a catch: two neighboring property owners had filed an appeal of the Zoning Commission’s February 2023 approval for the store, and the case was still ongoing as of the opening.
However, on Feb. 7, a motion was made on behalf of the two plaintiffs, Christopher Cestaro and Strategic Acquisitions -GM, LLC, to withdraw the appeal “without costs to any party,” according to the state’s judicial website. A court date to approve the action has not been scheduled at press time.
The complaint was filed last year by Christopher Cestaro and Strategic Acquisitions -GM, LLC. Cestaro is the owner of Ocean Performance, a boating service center located at 280 Boston Post Road. According to state business registration records, George Mark McCarthy is listed as the principal for Strategic Acquisitions. McCarthy owns Beach Babies Learning Center, a daycare located at 210 Boston Post Road.
Much of the arguments from the plaintiffs centered on an argument that the Zoning Commission failed to account for potential traffic issues that could arise with introducing any potentially popular business at 233 Boston Post Road.
The lawsuit named the Zoning Commission, Fine Fettle, and Bantry Bay Ventures as defendants. The lawsuit sought to get the approval overturned based on allegations that the commission “acted illegally, arbitrarily, unreasonably” in approving the application,” according to the complaint.
Town officials had warned that Fine Fettle could take the risk in opening, but if the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, the store would have had to close.
Fine Fettle opened for business a month ago. Due to conditions of the approval from the Zoning Commission, Old Saybrook’s Fine Fettle location is required to operate by pre-sale and appointment pick-ups or delivery only. The applicants could apply to change that provision in the future but would need Zoning Commission approval. The store will be limited to only eight employees on-site at a time.
Prior to the Old Saybrook location, the nearest dispensaries are in Branford, Middletown, and New London, forcing local customers to travel 20 miles or more for access to legal cannabis.
Fine Fettle currently has multiple cannabis dispensaries in Connecticut and two in Massachusetts. The company is looking to expand in those two states as well as the state of Georgia.