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(Above) Location near Wells & North of proposed cannabis dispensary.

12-Sep-23 – After seeing the results of an impromptu community survey over a proposed cannabis dispensary in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins has decided against supporting a request to change zoning for the site.

“While popular opinion is not the only factor I consider when evaluating zoning change requests, the clear survey result combined with the numerous comments received by my office made it apparent that I must deny this zoning change request,” announced Hopkins in an email to constituents on September 8.

The property at 1542-44 North Wells Street was brought forward by developer GLP Old Town, LLC, which had requested a change from the existing B3-5 zoning district to a C1-5 zoning district in order to build a residential building with ground-floor retail space. That space would allow the applicant to also move forward with an application for Zoning Board of Appeals approval to open a cannabis dispensary in the ground-floor space.

Hopkins co-hosted a virtual community meeting with Old Town Residents and Merchants Association on June 15 for the developer to present their proposal and allow neighbors to weigh in. The association then conducted a community survey that received 234 responses. 69.66 percent of those responding indicated they were opposed to the proposal, 24.79 percent were in favor of the proposal, and 5.98 percent were neutral.