Council Gives Direction for Cannabis Zoning Ordinance

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At a special meeting Monday, the Naperville City Council considered zoning requirements for potential adult-use cannabis dispensaries.

Several Aspects of Zoning

Several public speakers weighed in before council members had their turn. The group touched on items like parking, on-site consumption, and a cap on the number of dispensaries.

“You don’t go with one because that’s a monopoly and this is a free market,” said Councilman John Krummen. “I can’t say that enough. Three or four seems to be a better number. It’s not picked out of the air. It’s the fewest that doesn’t present a monopoly or duopoly. And it also gives us a chance to, for lack of a better word, prototype and see what’s going on.”

Six council members agreed that three dispensaries was a good cap.

All nine members of council agreed not to allow on-site consumption at dispensaries.

Locations A Difficult Discussion

But how far away the locations are from each other, and from schools, daycares, and residential areas was more divisive.

“I would like to see some change [from] 250 feet from residential to something much larger,” said Councilman Paul Hinterlong. “The lines I see outside some of these are longer than 250 feet. So imagine a house three doors down from you with a line extending to your property. I don’t think that’s something we want to see.”

Others argued it is unrealistic to impose too large of distances from residential areas and daycares, as that would eliminate every potential site. They asked city staff to find out the farthest possible distance without eliminating too many potential locations, and include that in their recommendation.

Expected to Opt In

In September, council originally voted against adult-use sales. But a March referendum showed 53% of residents support cannabis sales in Naperville, and some on the dais said they would change their vote to side with the majority. It’s expected that council will vote to opt in to sales at some point this year.

It’s possible that council will add in a meeting this summer to expedite the process and spread out agenda items so meetings don’t run too late into the night.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.