Proposed rules for how and where recreational marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to operate in the village will go to the South Elgin Village Board with the endorsement of the village’s planning and zoning commission.
Commissioners were nearly unanimous Wednesday in their approval of an amended ordinance that would allow pot-selling businesses to open in retail districts along Randall Road, the north end of North La Fox Street, the intersection of Spring Street and McLean Boulevard and in a few other areas in town. Leo Metz cast the lone dissenting vote.
Under the proposed requirements, a “buffer zone” of at least 250 feet must separate cannabis stores from schools, libraries, day-care centers and parks. Commissioners added one change to that, including language that would also place a 100-foot buffer between the businesses and residences.
“I would prefer to see a buffer between where these businesses are and where the residential homes are," Commissioner Cynthia Tarka said before city staff was directed to make the residential buffer addition. "I don’t know what that buffer is but it would be nice to have something out there so they’re not next door to my house.”
Additional requirements call for prospective dispensary owners to submit documentation outlining their plans for security, odor control and disposal of unused marijuana.
Any other businesses related to the marijuana industry, such as cannabis infusers, processors, recreational and medical cannabis cultivation centers, transporters and craft growers, would be restricted to the village’s industrial district.
Metz said he opposes any recreational marijuana businesses being located in South Elgin, which is why he voted against endorsing the rules.
“The state said this is a legal thing now, but that doesn’t make it right,” he said.
Resident Grady Hauser also told the commission he opposes recreational pot sales in the village and state.
“I’m asking the board and your recommendations to please don’t put this burden on our police force, our hospitals and our high school administrators by proposing any retail locations," he said. "If you do, you’ll only add to the list of reasons why South Elgin residents are leaving Illinois.”
The proposed rules will likely go before the village board at its Nov. 4 meeting, community development director Nancy Hill said. They must be enacted by Jan. 1, when the new law authorizing the sale, purchase and consumption of recreational marijuana goes into effect.