Niles is one step closer to witnessing the opening of its second recreational cannabis dispensary after the village board approved zoning and distancing changes to expand the eligible area.
But not everyone approved of the changes. Of the many public commenters who attended the meeting to discuss the zoning amendments, most of the people in opposition were affiliated with one of the four churches in the area.
Logos Baptist Ministries, CityLine Bible Church, Bethany Church and Holy Taxiarhai & St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church all sit along North Caldwell Avenue. Congregants from all four churches attended the meeting to voice their opposition to changing rules to allow a dispensary to open down the road from their churches.
Previously, village ordinance dictated that any dispensary opening in the village needed to be at least 500 feet from a place of worship, park or playground, and they had to be at least 1,000 feet away from any schools.
On Tuesday, the village board voted 4-1 to reduce all those distancing requirements to 200 feet. And it expanded the area in which a cannabis dispensary would be able to open without having to apply for a special use permit to include parcels bounded by Lehigh Ave. to