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Spring Valley amends code for possible medical marijuana site

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 2:39 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 2:42 p.m. CDT

SPRING VALLEY — The Spring Valley City Council has approved an amendment to the city’s land development code to meet the requirements needed for a medical marijuana cultivation facility.

At Monday’s meeting, the council went along with the recommendation to amend the code as provided by the planning commission, which met on Aug. 6.

The city will now be able to submit an application to endorse becoming a possible site for a cultivation facility.

According to the plan commission meeting minutes, Plan Commission Chairman George Forsa questioned why the ordinance did not also include granting special uses for cannabis dispensaries. In turn, Spring Valley City Attorney Jim Andreoni explained the only inquiries the city had received at the present time were regarding cultivation facilities.

Forsa recommended the city look into the possibility of further amending the land development code to allow dispensaries as special uses in certain commercial districts.

At Monday’s council meeting, Alderman Dave Pellegrini asked Economic Development Director Debb Ladgenski about the interest in the cannabis dispensaries.

She confirmed a pharmaceutical company had contacted her looking for both a cannabis cultivation and dispensary site.

After looking into the requirements needed for a dispensary, Ladgenski said she discovered that they cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare and only one site within the city met the size requirements the party had been asking about.

Aldermen Jim Talaino and Jack Narczewski questioned Ladgenski about who the company was that was asking about the site, which she explained she didn’t want to publicize the name, as the matter only relates to private negotiations as of now.

When the ordinance to amend the city’s land development code came to a vote, Talaino and Narczewski both passed.

In other news, the council:

• Heard City Engineer Larry Good report the amendment to the Safe Routes to School grant was made and signed by Mayor Walt Marini before being submitted last week. Marini said he thought the city should hear back on the status of the grant within a couple weeks. He said the grant amount is $670,000.

• Authorized Good to advertise for bids for demolition and asbestos abatement for the buildings located at 200, 202 and 124 E. Saint Paul Street.

• Approved to retain Claire Manning and her law firm to act as lead council in ongoing negotiations between the city and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Marini explained the city hired Manning after it was discovered the city’s discharge from the lagoon at the wastewater treatment plant was in noncompliance. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) turned over the case to the attorney general’s office, which the city is in current negotiations with right now.

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