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updated: 1/10/2014 2:58 PM

Buffalo Grove to limit medical marijuana dispensers to industrial district

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If Buffalo Grove is chosen as a site to cultivate or dispense medical marijuana, the village is prepared.

This week, trustees armed themselves by amending the village's zoning ordinance to permit such facilities as a special use in its industrial zoning district.

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But the new regs will hardly enable Buffalo Grove to become Haight Ashbury.

A cultivation center may not be located within 2,500 feet of the property lines of schools, day care centers and areas zoned for residential. The only location that meets that distance requirement is the southeast corner of Aptakisic Road and Barclay Boulevard, an industrial area where the Rogers Center for Commerce is located.

In addition, dispensing organizations may not be located within 1,000 feet of the same.

The zoning amendment was reviewed by the village attorney and recommended by the plan commission 7-1.

The commissioner who voted no, Matthew Cohn, said he thought it was important to identify the location of child-friendly recreational uses in the Industrial district - raising the concern that the ordinance might, in essence, amount to a prohibition of marijuana businesses rather than allowing them.

Village Manager Dane Bragg added that communities are not allowed to be so restrictive with their zoning laws as to basically outlaw the businesses.

The amendment passed by the village board Monday is in essence a pre-emptive strike by the village, even though all questions have not been resolved.

"If we didn't do this, this would leave us open to more problems going forward," Bragg said.

Under the state rules, various properties in the Business and Office & Research Districts as well as the Industrial District all meet the distance standard for organizations that could dispense marijuana.

However, the amendment passed Monday limits them to just the Industrial District.

Trustee Andrew Stein had Bragg clarify that the amendment merely sets up the area where a marijuana business could apply to be located.

"We are not actually approving one of these centers tonight, correct?" Stein asked.

Bragg confirmed he was correct.

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