The referendum question whether the City of Batavia should allow adult-use cannabis dispensaries was overwhelmingly approved by 62% of voters. This matter will now come back to City Council for discussion at the Committee of the Whole meeting on November 10, 2020 for follow up discussions about necessary changes to the City’s cannabis use laws and Zoning Code.
Changes to the Zoning Code would go first through the Plan Commission who meet the first and third Wednesday of each month. However, rather than have the Plan Commission discuss what restrictions to in place in a vacuum, we have placed the matter on tomorrow night’s agenda for the City Council to discuss at the Committee of the Whole and provide direction about what restrictions they may wish to apply so that staff can prepare the appropriate amendments to the Zoning Code and the Plan Commission has some idea of what City Council may ultimately approve. Decisions to be made are as follows:
-In what areas of zoning will dispensaries be allowed (Downtown Mixed Use, General Industry, etc.)
-Any restrictions on the number of dispensaries
-Allowable use or a conditional use
-Setbacks from any other uses (residential, church, park, school) or from each other
Changes to the Zoning code require that a legal notice of a public hearing is published in the newspaper at least 15 days prior to the meeting. Based upon City Council’s direction, the earliest Plan Commission could consider the changes is December 16. If they conclude their discussion and recommend changes to City Council, this could go to the Committee of the Whole on December 22 and City Council on January 4.
This should be plenty of time to have things in place. Currently, the IDFPR is not accepting new applications for adult-use dispensing organization licenses. The first-round application window has closed, and the first 75 licenses are to be issued in the fall of 2020. A new round of licenses and application dates has not yet been announced.