South Holland OKs ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries

2014-04-25T00:00:00Z South Holland OKs ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensariesGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 25, 2014 12:00 am  • 

SOUTH HOLLAND | The Village Board gave its approval to zoning ordinance amendments regulating any medical marijuana dispensaries that should ever choose to locate within municipal boundaries.

Trustees voted 5-0 on Monday, with Trustee N. Keith Chambers absent, in favor of a measure that had been crafted earlier this year, following the implementation of a new state law that permits legal use of marijuana for medical purposes.

State law already dictates how far away from homes or schools such facilities must be located, but the village’s ordinance dictates that any facilities that come to South Holland must be in the light industrial area on the suburb’s far west side near Harvey.

The village’s ordinance also says that such facilities can only operate between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on any day of the week, including Sunday.

Facilities will be required by South Holland to maintain their own private security to ensure that marijuana cannot easily be stolen from the premises.

Village Attorney Timothy Lapp said the ordinance is meant to ensure that such facilities can operate within South Holland without inconveniencing village officials or residents.

Village President Don De Graff said no one has approached South Holland yet seeking to locate a marijuana dispensary within the village. But he said officials want to be sure if someone does, local ordinances are prepared.

“We want to make sure that such a facility would be properly located within South Holland,” De Graff said.

Among other provisions of the ordinance, such facilities will have to comply with existing village sign ordinances limiting their height and width. But signs for such facilities will not be permitted to depict images of marijuana.

Also, people will be prohibited from actually consuming marijuana they purchase at a facility while on the premises.

Similar ordinances are being considered all across the south suburbs, as villages are bringing themselves into compliance with the state law that took effect Jan. 1.

Sauk Village officials already have approved such an ordinance, while officials in Lansing are crafting an ordinance that has yet to come before the village’s Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals.

Lansing officials have said there are only a few parcels of land on the far north and west edges of the village that would comply with the state law, and those are currently zoned for industrial use.

Lapp, who also is village attorney for Lansing, said final Village Board approval would come after the Zoning Board makes its recommendation.

Zoning Board officials have said the issue might come up for review at a meeting in May, although Lapp was unsure whether it would be on the agenda for the Zoning Board to consider at its next scheduled meeting May 14.

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