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Local

DeKalb already fielding interest from marijuana merchants

City Council to consider dispensary regulations, possible Plaza DeKalb parking lot, what city clerk duties should be

City Manager Bill Nicklas said the city is already being approached by interested parties looking to set up a marijuana shop in DeKalb, as city staff and council move forward to set policy and parameters for allowing dispensaries come Jan. 1.
City Manager Bill Nicklas said the city is already being approached by interested parties looking to set up a marijuana shop in DeKalb, as city staff and council move forward to set policy and parameters for allowing dispensaries come Jan. 1.

DeKALB – City Manager Bill Nicklas said the city is already being approached by interested parties looking to set up a marijuana shop in DeKalb, as city staff and the council move forward to set policy for allowing dispensaries on Jan. 1.

“In the last month and a half, we’ve had four or five different entities,” Nicklas said Friday. “So I think once we can define the standards and parameters, we’ll have people approaching us for formal consideration.”

The City Council has already expressed strong support for recreational marijuana dispensaries in DeKalb, with a desire to impose a full 3% tax on sales. On Monday, the council will consider revisions to medical cannabis dispensary regulations, and begin developing a framework for local zoning and permits in the hopes that, come Jan. 1, sellers will begin eyeing DeKalb as a spot to set up shop.

Even if DeKalb approves the shops, however, Illinois will only be issuing 75 licenses and there is no guarantee a shop would open in the city.

Set for Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting at 6 p.m., city staff are asking the council to determine what kinds of establishments they would prefer in DeKalb, according to city documents, but wait for further direction from the state on other establishments such as cultivation centers, growers and other areas of manufacturing the drug.

Nicklas is suggesting the council amend current policy to make recreational and medical dispensaries permitted under light commercial, general commercial and light industrial special permit use. Suggested considerations would also prohibit dispensaries within 250 feet of any public or private pre-school or school, licensed day care, or residential property.

Nicklas said he believes the city should take a “pretty open commercial approach” to sellers. He’s also suggesting the council allow dispensaries in multitenant commercial spaces, require parking areas to be well-lit and under camera surveillance, allow signage for commercial use, prohibit drive-thru sales and smoking inside dispensaries, and allow deliveries of product to shops.

Plaza DeKalb could get parking lot

Future residents of Plaza DeKalb could soon have their own parking lot, similar to the Cornerstone DeKalb apartment building.

Pappas Development LLC is eyeing a lot behind the Plaza DeKalb building at the corner of First and Locust streets, according to city documents.

The empty lot behind Plaza DeKalb was listed for sale Aug. 20, and Nicklas said Plaza DeKalb LLC, an affiliate of Pappas Development, placed an offer two days later to pay the full list price of $119,500, calling the offer an “unexpected and welcome alternative” to downtown residential parking, which underwent new regulations Aug. 29.

Nicklas said the lot is a former gas station with a leaking underground fuel storage tank that has been contained. The council will vote Monday whether to allow the sale.

City clerk workshop

After weeks of contentious debate and an indecisive City Council, 1st Ward Alderwoman Carolyn Morris will lead discussion during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting to better define duties for the city clerk position.

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