Green Mountain Fireworks clears first hurdle

Miltonians looking to get their 4th of July fireworks fix may not have to go far this summer.

Green Mountain Fireworks, run by Matt Lavigne and William Kirk, received approval for a conditional use permit from the Development Review Board on April 17 to sell fireworks temporarily at a location on Route 7 until the end of August.

“This is a very critical thing for me, so I was happy to hear it,” Lavigne said.

Before they launch their operation, the duo must meet the conditions of the approved permit and make any needed revisions before submitting their final plan. Since the DRB decision, the business partners have been working with town planner Jeff Castle to fulfill those stipulations.

“They’ll revise their plan to put what we requested on there. Then I look at it to make sure all the conditions are met,” Castle said.

After final plans are complete, Lavigne and Kirk will submit them along with a zoning permit request to the town.

Because there is a 30-day appeal period that began when the conditional use permit was approved, Castle said the town doesn’t usually take action on the zoning permit until that period ends.

Castle said those with “interested party status” can appeal the permit. They must have attended the March 23 DRB hearing for the conditional use permit, submitted written testimony or compiled a petition for appeal with at least 10 signatures.

Although no concerned parties attended the late-March hearing, adjacent landowner Michael McCormick submitted a letter urging the DRB to deny Green Mountain Fireworks’ permit.

“Milton is actively seeking to upgrade its commercial image,” he wrote in the letter. “And a semi-permanent tent sale will be more of a deterrent than an enhancement.”

Any appeal would halt the zoning permit process and prohibit the zoning administrator from issuing a permit until the matter is resolved either through settlement or court ruling, Castle said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no appeal was filed. Kirk had not heard any complaints about the fireworks business he and Lavigne are working to open on the 11-acre lot at 496 Route 7 South in the Checkerberry zoning district.

“Everyone we talked to was into it,” Kirk said. “There is a lot of people who would like to enjoy fireworks in the summer months and for parties.”

If Green Mountain Fireworks secures a zoning permit, they would then have the go-ahead to begin setting up their 1,200-square foot display tent and two storage containers.

At that point, Kirk and Lavigne would begin moving their inventory, which they order in one large shipment at the beginning of the season and supplement with smaller incremental ones, to the site.

The final step entails an on-site review by Milton’s zoning administrator, Amanda Pitts. She can then issue a certificate of compliance.

If everything goes according to plan for the business partners, they aim to have the fireworks tent up and running by the third weekend in May, Kirk said.

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