CHAMPAIGN – Danville has no plans to welcome a third cannabis dispensary anytime soon.
The Danville City Council on Tuesday denied a special-use zoning permit to open a new dispensary in the Lynch Road corridor.
That vote came after the decision to amend the city’s zoning ordinance to allow one or more cannabis dispensaries to operate within 1,500-feet of one another, so long as the businesses are licensed in accordance with the Social Equity Justice Involved Lottery.
The existing ordinance allows only for one.
The city previously approved plans for a second dispensary, Seven Point, to open across the street from the existing Sunnyside dispensary.
Vanessa Dotson, a representative from Seven Point, told the council the company plans to break ground on the dispensary in March or April, and hopes to wrap up construction by the end of the year.
The request for what would have been a third dispensary was made by Parkway Dispensary, which hoped to open north of Sunnyside.
Prior to the votes, Dotson appeared before council to oppose allowing a third dispensary to open at the location, arguing that customer demand wouldn’t support the increased supply. “There is a limited number of customers to serve, and two dispensaries will be enough to handle that amount of business,” Dotson said.
She asked the council to consider expanding zoning for dispensaries rather than saturating the Lynch Road corridor. “If Danville wants additional dispensaries, it should amend this ordinance to allow for dispensaries in other areas of Danville,” Dotson said.
Alderman Tricia Teague, who said the legalization of recreational cannabis in Illinois predated her election to the council, asked if Danville’s ordinance was designed to locate dispensaries on the outskirts of the city.
Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. answered that in considering the original ordinance, some members of the council, as well as residents, had concerns about locating dispensaries close to residential areas. “And so that’s one of the reasons why this area was selected,” he said of the Lynch Road corridor. “Because it was not proximate to residential areas.”
Alderman Rick Strebing voted to grant the permit for the third dispensary, but acknowledged the Lynch Road location might not be ideal.
“I really don’t think that you need three of them out there,” Strebing said, adding that he’d prefer locations on the south or north sides of the city.