East Dundee schedules special meeting on recreational pot sales

Updated 2/13/2020 2:09 PM

During early talks of potential regulations for recreational marijuana sales, the East Dundee village board expressed a desire to be flexible.

Some trustees feared implementing too many restrictions would push dispensaries or related businesses away from town and into a neighboring community.


To remain competitive, a majority of the board agreed it would be in the village's best interest to allow cannabis shops as a special use in industrial and commercial zoning areas -- including the downtown.

But the planning and zoning commission overwhelmingly disagreed during its review of the proposed ordinance last week, saying the family-friendly downtown business district is no place for a marijuana dispensary. Instead, the advisory panel recommended creating an "overlay" zoning district that would keep cannabis operations east of Route 25.

The village board now has the final say.

A special meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Rakow Senior Center, 665 Barrington Ave., Carpentersville, to accommodate the anticipated crowd.

Dozens of community members attended last week's public hearing, during which several representatives of the downtown Immanuel Lutheran Church and School asked for a 1,500-square-foot buffer between any marijuana shop and sensitive use. The planning and zoning commission's recommended parameters would exceed that request.

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The suggested overlay district would limit cannabis operations to properties east of, but not facing, Route 25. Within that area, dispensaries would be permitted on parcels zoned as a service business or limited manufacturing use. Cultivation centers and similar businesses would be restricted to the manufacturing areas.

The proposal also includes a requirement of at least one parking spot per 150 square feet of floor area, with a minimum of 20 spaces, designated specifically for the establishment. Village staff members suggested adding parking regulations after witnessing large crowds at other suburban dispensaries since a state law legalizing adult-use pot took effect Jan. 1.

All marijuana operations would be considered special uses, meaning applicants would be evaluated by East Dundee officials on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to zoning parameters, the village board is expected to consider adopting additional business regulations, such as security and ventilation plans.

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