Amid growing interest from recreational marijuana companies, Rolling Meadows officials are considering whether to allow dispensaries to operate in and around the commercial areas of Algonquin and Golf Roads.
Proposed changes to the city’s zoning rules would allow pottery shops in commercial areas east of New Wilke Road with the approval of a special use permit by the city council.
Currently, the council can vote to approve dispensaries only in manufacturing zoning districts. The city’s only dispensary, Nature’s Care, is in such a neighborhood – on the north side of town, at 975 Rohlwing Road.
But in recent months, officials say, city staff have been fielding increasing requests for marijuana dispensaries looking for south side locations — mostly along the busy commercial corridors of Algonquin Roads. and Golf.
On Tuesday evening, the city’s planning and zoning commission unanimously recommended changes to the city’s code that could open the door to these businesses. The recommendation to City Council, which will consider the new zoning rules on February 22, follows an initial January 18 committee-level discussion by Mayor Joe Gallo and aldermen, who showed openness to expanding the boundaries. some stores.
“This is not a plea for cannabis or any other vice, but there have been (state) legislative changes and it’s time we looked at these topics with the hypocrisy eliminated around them in context. other vices,” Gallo said. “Again, I’m in no way condoning any particular vice and I’m not saying ignore the ill effects that a vice can offer. But specifically with cannabis, we know we can go to a grocery store that supports a school and you can get a case of booze or go to a gas station around the corner and get a case of booze or a pack of cigarettes.”
Proposed code changes would allow any dispensary east of New Wilke to be within 1,000 feet of a home, school or daycare center. The separation requirement would remain in place in manufacturing areas.
Alderman Kevin O’Brien said allowing dispensaries near accommodation is in line with council’s previous approval for video games.
“I know it’s in our jurisdiction as a council…but I could see us getting into hot water quickly saying, ‘Yeah, we’ll allow two play venues facing the residence, but no, the dispensaries, you can’t,'” O’Brien said.
The city’s new rules would also allow stores in multi-tenant mall buildings – of which there are a number along Algonquin and Golf.
Beyond dispensaries, Gallo instructed city staff to research marijuana grow centers and lounges, as he said operators had contacted him and were interested in Rolling Meadows.