Pot stores compete for prime spot near Woodfield

  • The proposed Windy City Cannabis dispensary would occupy the former Bar Louie building at 1160 Plaza Drive on the outskirts of Woodfield Mall's parking lot. State law prohibiting dispensaries from being within 1,500 feet of each other has created a race between Windy City Cannabis and the proposed Sunnyside dispensary to the east that's two weeks ahead in the village's review process.

    The proposed Windy City Cannabis dispensary would occupy the former Bar Louie building at 1160 Plaza Drive on the outskirts of Woodfield Mall's parking lot. State law prohibiting dispensaries from being within 1,500 feet of each other has created a race between Windy City Cannabis and the proposed Sunnyside dispensary to the east that's two weeks ahead in the village's review process. Courtesy of village of Schaumburg

  • A rendering of how the proposed Sunnyside cannabis dispensary would appear from along Golf Road as the easternmost tenant of the Woodfield Gatherings outlot development near the northwest corner of the Woodfield Mall parking lot in Schaumburg.

    A rendering of how the proposed Sunnyside cannabis dispensary would appear from along Golf Road as the easternmost tenant of the Woodfield Gatherings outlot development near the northwest corner of the Woodfield Mall parking lot in Schaumburg. Courtesy of village of Schaumburg

 
 
Posted5/5/2020 5:30 AM

A race is in progress not only to be the first recreational marijuana dispensary in Schaumburg, but also the only one permitted in the northwest corner of Woodfield Mall's parking lot.

State law requiring a 1,500-foot distance between pot stores ensures that only one of the two proposals for the location will open to customers.

 

The finish line appears not to be a required special-use permit from the village, or even a building permit, but to be the first business operating -- depending on how much financial risk on construction one is willing to take.

On Wednesday, a proposal for a Windy City Cannabis dispensary in the 8,059-square-foot former Bar Louie building at 1160 Plaza Drive will go before Schaumburg's zoning board of appeals.

A Sunnyside dispensary proposed for the nearby Woodfield Gatherings building to the east at 1739 E. Golf Road received the panel's recommendation last month. Sunnyside operators will appear before the village board May 12 seeking final approval of a special-use permit for the 8,640-square-foot space next to Mod Pizza.

Even if Windy City Cannabis gets a recommendation Wednesday, it's not scheduled to go before the village board until May 26.

The village's staff report on the proposal states, "If approved, the special use should contain a condition that it will automatically terminate if a state licensed cannabis business establishment begins operating at a location within 1,500 feet of the proposed location prior to the applicant commencing operations."

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While village staff supports Windy City Cannabis' request for a special-use permit, they recommend against a required zoning change to enable it. Neither the zoning board of appeals nor village board has to agree with staff's recommendation, however.

Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said rezonings -- in this case from a planned office to a general business classification -- shouldn't be evaluated on the basis of a specific proposal but on the overall appropriateness for the property.

Not only would a rezoning enable different types of uses at the site in the future, but also affect two other buildings on the same property.

"We are working hand-in-hand with the state and the village of Schaumburg to make sure we follow the necessary guidelines to ensure we receive the required permits," Windy City Cannabis owner Steve Weisman said. "We believe that the rezoning in Schaumburg is appropriate, and are working with the village to make the proper determinations."

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