Lakemoor approves guidelines for recreational marijuana
Lakemoor is ready to deal with the sale and cultivation of marijuana for recreational use if or when interest arises.
In a 3-2 vote, the village board last week agreed to amend the zoning ordinance to set guidelines for marijuana dispensaries and various types of cultivation.
On-site consumption of marijuana would not be permitted under the approved measures, which generally limit dispensaries to certain main commercial areas and cultivation to industrial zones.
The sale and cultivation of marijuana for recreational use became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. Most communities have either voted to allow it, opted to prohibit it or decided to wait awhile and revisit after the potential impacts might be better known.
"We weren't in any particular hurry but we knew we wanted to get something on the books," said Matt Dabrowski, director of community and economic development.
The village was part of a Lake County task force that studied the issue and adopted a model ordinance that was developed, he added. The new rules were incorporated with those for medical dispensaries, which were approved by the village in 2014.
"We modified our existing code to be a little bit more logical," Dabrowski said. "We combined the medicinal and recreational" uses.
Dispensaries and two categories of cultivation sites require a conditional use, which Dabrowski described as "another layer of oversight to ensure the potential impacts are regulated."
The approval process will require a public hearing before the village's planning and zoning commission. That's similar to other types of developments, he added, although those involving marijuana will also require plans for video surveillance inside and out, for example.
Lakemoor's ordinance would limit dispensaries to regional commercial districts along Route 12, and on Route 120 east of Darrell Road and west of Lily Lake Road.
"We want to keep them away from the residential (areas) and closer to the regional transportation network," Dabrowski said.
Dispensaries would have to be at least 500 feet away from "sensitive areas," such as schools and day care centers, and at least 100 feet from houses, he said.
The planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the zoning changes by a 6-0 vote, but the village board split.
"Advocates were of the opinion, 'It's here, let's create the standards now so we get the benefit of revenue and good quality development,' while opponents were basically of the opinion, 'We don't need it,'" Dabrowski said.
The village has not received any applications for dispensaries or cultivation operations.