Lake Barrington says 'no' to marijuana businesses
Without any public comment urging action one way or another, Lake Barrington village board members Tuesday night rejected the idea of marijuana businesses opening in the town.
Recreational pot use by those 21 and older becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. Towns can't outlaw its use, but they are allowed to prohibit businesses that sell it or restrict their location.
By a 6-0 vote, the Lake Barrington village board passed an ordinance prohibiting pot retailers in all zoning districts. Village President Kevin Richardson said not allowing marijuana businesses in town is consistent with previous rejections of an off-track betting facility and video gambling.
"Lake Barrington prides itself as a premier place to live and raise a family," Richardson said, "and we take seriously our commitment to be an oasis of gracious of gracious countryside living. And that has been our mission statement for a number of years now -- an oasis of gracious countryside living."
No one attended Tuesday night's Lake Barrington board meeting to speak for or against marijuana sales. That was a dramatic difference from Monday night's Palatine village council meeting, where about 140 people -- including an organized "Opt Out" group that has been traversing the suburbs -- watched the elected officials in a narrow vote allow pot businesses.
Richardson said he received feedback from residents urging the village board to not allow recreational marijuana dispensaries. Trustee Jim Thompson said he heard the same in the Lake Barrington Shores development where he lives.
"We have all these events at the lodge," Thompson said. "These people come up to me said say, 'You're not going to pass that, are you?'"
Some communities near Lake Barrington also have rejected marijuana businesses. They include Barrington, Deer Park and Barrington Hills.