It appears that another ward will profit from the alderman’s wrongheaded refusal to permit a medical marijuana dispensary (MMD) to open in West Ridge, thus depriving the 50th ward of much-needed jobs and sales tax revenues, not to mention a lovely landscaped business gracing Western Avenue.
Remember the Greengate Compassion Center? The MMD had applied last year to build its facility at 6501 North Western Avenue in West Ridge. The alderman immediately announced her opposition, then clarified it twice before finally blocking it in the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). In fact, so sure was she that the MMD would not be approved that she proposed a zoning change ordinance for the site two months before the ZBA’s final decision was announced.
To preserve the illusion of a disinterested ZBA making an independent decision, that ordinance was tabled for a couple of months before the change from commercial to residential became law.
But all is not lost for Greengate. The more progressive 49th Ward may become the MMD’s new site. Ald. Joe Moore is holding a community meeting on Sept. 28 so residents can hear from Bob Kingsley, the owner, about his proposal to locate the MMD at 1930 West Chase (a Rogers). The site is different from what was proposed for Western, but every bit as attractive:
To quote from Ald. Moore’s announcement,
“Earlier this year, Mr. Kingsley identified a potential site at 1930 W. Chase, located at the northeast corner of Chase and Rogers. For many years, the site was home to Rogers Pantry, a convenience store that primarily sold packaged liquor. Rogers Pantry went out of business several years ago and the building has been standing empty ever since (see photo below).
Until recently, three licenses to operate home day care centers existed within 1,000 feet of the property. For various reasons, none of the license holders actually operated day care centers out of their homes, but because the licenses were on the State’s registry, Mr. Kingsley could not receive a license to operate a dispensary at the Rogers Pantry location until the licenses expired or were withdrawn.” That has now happened.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, at the Pottawattomie Park Field House, 7340 North Rogers.