Elgin marijuana dispensary opening might be delayed
A petition to open a marijuana dispensary in Elgin might get sent back to the city's planning and zoning commission, and the applicant says he might abandon the process if that happens.
Elgin Corporation Counsel Bill Cogley recommended the city council direct the commission to continue an Aug. 4 public hearing to ensure the principles of due process are met, Elgin Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal said. The city council meets Wednesday.
Cogley decided that after a request from attorney Charles Muscarello, who represents the Fox Bluff Corporate Center, where the dispensary would be located at 1330 Crispin Drive.
Muscarello says the commission, which recommended approval of the petition by Salveo Health and Wellness of Chicago, ignored the Fox Bluff business owners' request for a continuance of the hearing.
Nearby business owners oppose the dispensary, which they say would increase traffic and crime in the area.
"Guidance by the Illinois Supreme Court pertaining to minimum level of due process suggests that at minimum, this party should have been afforded an opportunity to go back and do some research," Kozal said.
The state hasn't opened the application process to issue licenses to up to 21 growers and 60 dispensaries, including two in Kane County.
The application window is expected to be Sept. 8 to 22, according to information posted online by the state. Zoning approval is not necessary for applications to be submitted, but the process must be already in motion.
Still, not having timely approval from Elgin could hurt Salveo's chances of getting a license, Salveo CEO Alex R. Thiersch said.
If the process is delayed by the city council, Thiersch said, he'll have to decide whether to withdraw his zoning petition.
"This is going to come down to a matter of points (in the state's application process)," he said.
"If there is a tie (among dispensary applicants in application point totals), for instance, and we do not have zoning, approval that could certainly be the deciding factor that causes us to lose the license."
If the city council sends this back to the commission, there isn't enough time to set up a public hearing at the Sept. 2 commission meeting, Elgin Community Development Director Marc Mylott said.
In that case, the commission might hold a special meeting before its Oct. 6 meeting, he said.
Muscarello also said that commission chairman Bob Siljestrom unduly cut off business owner Joe Graziano Jr. from finishing his remarks at the hearing.
"We're asking that (the city council) send it back to the public hearing, and we'll be happy if they do that," he said.
Sijlestrom said he couldn't comment without first reading the hearing's transcript.