Cannabis Zoning, Affordable Housing Discussed at Council

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Besides requesting an ordinance that could ban short-term rental properties in Naperville, city council discussed two other hot-button issues at their most recent meeting. The dais heard the first reading of an ordinance that would establish zoning standards for adult-use cannabis stores.

Cannabis Zoning

The biggest issue on the table was whether to make these dispensaries permitted-use or conditional-use in industrial and commercial zones. Conditional zoning requires a public hearing prior to moving in, while permitted does not.

Public Speakers

Several public speakers weighed in at the meeting.

“It should be a permitted use,” said Opt In Naperville’s Jim Haselhorst. “Liquor stores and tobacco stores in Naperville are permitted uses and we have them. I know of examples of convenience stores selling liquor and tobacco that share a common property line with a residence.”

cannabis zoning

Naperville’s only medical cannabis dispensary, 3C Compassionate Care Center, has said they would petition for an adult-use sales license if sales are permitted in the city.

“Because of the close referendum vote, city council should impose a restrictive zoning ordinance that recognizes the closeness of the vote,” said Opt Out Naperville’s Jennifer Taylor. “This is not a winner-take-all situation and it shouldn’t feel like that to the 47% of residents who voted no.”

Other potential changes that were discussed included increasing the distance between dispensaries and extending operating hours.

The final reading and vote on that item will be held at a future meeting.

Housing Recommendations

Council also discussed eight recommendations from the Housing Advisory Commission on how to improve affordable housing in Naperville. They included:

  1. Implement an Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance (IZO)
  2. Develop a working relationship with affordable housing developers
  3. Develop a strategy to leverage publicly-owned land to address housing challenges
  4. Develop specific plans to preserve naturally-occurring affordable housing (NOAH)
  5. Establish additional resources to assist population with special needs
  6. Create housing specific staff positions within the city
  7. Establish a Housing Trust Fund specifically targeted toward helping veterans, seniors, special housing needs, and first responders
  8. Establish a Revolving Rehabilitation Loan Fund targeted towards low income seniors

Council asked city staff to schedule a workshop where they and the public could learn more about those recommendations and where Naperville stands in relation to affordable housing.

“This was a long time in the works,” said Councilman Patrick Kelly. “These eight recommendations were not considered lightly or for a short amount of time. It was months and months and months of study and consideration.”

Prior Warnings

The city has twice received warnings from the Illinois Housing Development Authority for not meeting affordable housing standards.

That workshop could be held as early as September.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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