It’s usually pretty sleepy at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, but things will most likely heat up at the Aug. 18 meeting in village hall. On the agenda will be two hot zoning topics in Forest Park: where to put two new businesses that have never existed in town before.
The village has not yet posted the agenda for the ZBA meeting, but legal advertisements placed in the Forest Park Review indicate the board will be considering whether Forest Park should make special zoning arrangements for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Currently, according to state rules, the dispensaries — which will open next year — must remain 1,000 feet from any church or school. In Forest Park, that would be properties zoned B-2 (neighborhood shopping district) or I (industrial).
Two parties have proposed opening medical cannabis dispensaries in Forest Park B-2 sites. Retired financial trader Linda Cibula has a provisional offer to buy Kevil’s restaurant, 7228 Circle Ave.
A company represented by Tanya Griffin of Water and Trees Growth Management proposed a cannabis dispensary for the shuttered Deal$ dollar store, 7709 Roosevelt Road. Both of those locations would be considered B-2 zones since there are residential areas within a few blocks. Industrial areas in Forest Park include the industrial park south of 16th Street and east of Desplaines Avenue and the Forest Park Mall.
The zoning meeting was shoehorned into the calendar so the ZBA could make a recommendation before the village council’s Aug. 25 meeting. The council voted to extend a moratorium on the opening of medical cannabis dispensaries for 45 days — down from an original 180 days, which would have prevented either company from submitting their completed paperwork by Sept. 1, when the state has indicated it will start accepting applications.
Mayor Anthony Calderone said in previous village meetings that the ZBA hearing is where public comments from residents about cannabis dispensaries can be expected. Once the ZBA advises the village, there will be one more public comment session before the Aug. 25 meeting.
Brew Pub location revealed
The Exit Strategy Brew Pub is the other business that will be scrutinized by the ZBA as advertised in legal classifieds.
Though owners Kat and Chris Valleau were previously shy about revealing the proposed location prior to signing a lease, the classifieds show the building considered is the former Classic Electric Supply Inc. building at 7700 Madison St. The property is owned by Howard Schwarzbach, former owner of Famous Liquors, who bought it in 2008, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.
The Valleaus encouraged supporters to come to the Aug. 18 ZBA meeting on their Facebook page.
“We would love some local support in the room with us,” the post says.
This article has been updated to correct the zoning district ctegory in which the medical marijuana facilities could be located to B-2.