Elgin OKs medical pot dispensary, despite opposition – Chicago Daily Herald

After a two-month process, a medical marijuana dispensary gained approval to open in Elgin, a decision that opponents say paves the way for a lawsuit against the city.

The Elgin City Council voted 6-3 to grant a permit to Salveo Health & Wellness of Chicago to open the dispensary at unit 215 of 1330 Crispin Drive in the Fox Bluff Corporate Center. Salveo is vying for one of two dispensary state licenses in Kane County.

Councilmen Toby Shaw and Rich Dunne, along with Mayor David Kaptain, voted against the permit. Kaptain said he didn’t have enough time to read the 500-page transcript from Monday night’s six-hour planning and zoning commission meeting on the issue.

“Safety is not the issue for me. The issue for me here is the due process that goes with it,” he said. “My conscience won’t let me do it tonight.”

Shaw said the city was going out of its way to approve one particular business.

Attorney Charles Muscarello, who represents the other owners in the Fox Bluff center, said he will challenge the city’s decision because it doesn’t comply with the city’s municipal code or state law.

Muscarello’s clients oppose the dispensary at that location, arguing it will increase crime and traffic.

The commission recommended denial in a 3-1 vote Monday night, but the council has ultimate say.

Dispensaries in Elgin must be at least 1,000 feet from residential areas.

The commission recommended the distance should be measured from property line to property line.

The city council, however, decided that for multiunit commercial properties, the distance should be measured from the units themselves. That allows the dispensary to meet the minimum distance.

“I didn’t envision this as being so restrictive with multi-occupant buildings that it was going to essentially zone them out of Elgin,” Councilman John Steffen said.

Muscarello said the decision “would not stand up to legal …read more