A mixup with zoning notification letters to neighbors of medical marijuana dispensary hopeful sites means Monday’s Zoning Board of Appeals ruling on the two sites is voided and the zoning board needs to meet again, the village said. The board will re-convene Oct. 20, said Village Administrator Tim Gillian.
The zoning board hearing announcement letters were not sent to neighbors by the Village of Forest Park within 15 days, as required by state law. Some residents at the Monday’s ZBA meeting said they got the wrong letter. Neighbors of the proposed location at 7228 Circle Avenue said they got notices about the proposed 7501 Roosevelt Rd. location.
Another wrinkle is that the zoning board could rule completely differently on Oct. 20 because the board was not fully seated. Board Chair Austin Zimmer and Jeff Chen were absent Monday and one board member, Robert Teets, abstained from voting. At Monday’s meeting the ZBA voted 3 to 1 to approve the 7501 Roosevelt Rd. site and deadlocked 2 to 2 on the Circle Avenue site where Kevil’s restaurant sits now.
“The two applicants who were here are going to have to show up again [on Oct. 20],” Gillian said.
The window for applications to the state of Illinois slams shut at 3 p.m. Sept. 22. There’s talk of the state extending the application deadline, but that does not appear to have happened (yet) on the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program website. Applicants must prove that they have zoning approval for their applications to be valid.
But Evan Hilton of Green MC Meds said he wasn’t concerned.
“My lawyer called the Illinois Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation to confirm,” Hilton said. “We can still submit our application. They gave us permission to let the state know on the application there were clerical errors.”
Hilton said he’s been working with Forest Park Public Safety Head Steve Glinke for about a month to get his ducks in a row. Linda Cibula, hopeful for the 7228 Circle location did not return a call from the Forest Park Review.
This is the village’s second clerical misstep with regard to ZBA hearings about the medical pot dispensaries. On Aug. 15, the village clerk failed to post the ZBA agenda 48 hours before a scheduled Aug. 18 ZBA meeting. That meant the meeting was cancelled and kicked forward to Sept. 4. The village had to start again with public notice, including publishing legal classified ads and sending out notices to neighbors.
Gillian said a third group, The Green Solution, represented by Western Springs resident Tanya Griffin, might make a new application for a different location. The group withdrew their application for the former Deal$ dollar store site at 7709 Roosevelt Road.
“From our perspective, it gives the residents another opportunity to voice their concerns or support for medical marijuana dispensaries.”