6935 N. Sheridan

Update on Verano's Zoning Change Request

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I wanted to provide an update regarding the zoning change application submitted by Verano Holdings for the former Leona’s property at 6935 N. Sheridan Road. 

Earlier this year, Verano Holdings - who purchased the GreenGate dispensary at 7305 N. Rogers Ave; approached my office with a proposal to move the current dispensary and cannabis license to a new location at the site of the former Leona’s restaurant at 6935 N. Sheridan Road. 

This proposal would require three separate zoning approvals in order to open: one, changing the zoning designation from “Business” to “Commercial” (Under current Chicago zoning laws, cannabis dispensaries are only allowed within “Commercial” zoning designations). Two, a favorable application to the Lakefront Protection Review. And finally, obtaining a special use permit that is required for all cannabis dispensaries. As with any zoning change request that is presented to my office, a community-driven process was initiated to gather feedback and concerns from the neighbors who would be affected by this zoning change. 

On March 28th, our office hosted a community meeting with Verano Holdings. After the community meeting, we collected hundreds of responses regarding this zoning change. While the 49th Ward supported the zoning change overall, the immediate neighbors were not as supportive. Many of the respondents who lived nearby expressed concerns with traffic, crime, and Verano’s general business practices. However, a general throughline began to develop from a majority of the responses - while supportive of Verano being in the neighborhood, many felt this was not the best location for a dispensary to be located. 

My office then began to work with Verano to address these concerns. After the community meeting, my team and I brought an array of possible new sites to Verano for consideration. We would like to see them located on Morse Ave, wast of Sheridan so that all of our businesses can benefit from the increased traffic they would bring to the area. While Verano is open to considering alternative locations in our ward, they haven't found the ones we've presented as viable so far.

Additionally, after the community meeting, some other prospective opportunities for the former Leona's site have been presented to my office that could be better aligned with our community needs. Because we would like to pursue other possible uses, Verano has decided to terminate their hold on the lease with the owner of 6935 N. Sheridan Road and will no longer pursue the zoning changes they were seeking. 

We are continuing to work with Verano on alternative sites and are excited that new opportunities have presented themselves through our community process. My office will continue to work to bring the best developments possible to our ward and to make sure the former Leona’s site returns to use as a good, productive neighbor that will be embraced by the community it serves.

Share Your Feedback on the
Proposed Dispensary at 6935 N. Sheridan

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On Monday, our office hosted a community meeting to discuss a proposed zoning change request for the former Leona's location at 6935 N. Sheridan. Verano is proposing a recreational dispensary to be housed at this location, requiring a zoning change from the current designation of B3-1 to C3-1, the most comparable zoning classification that permits adult-use cannabis dispensaries. More information on the zoning change proposal and Verano's plans is available below.

We would like to hear residents' feedback on the proposal. Please take a moment to complete the online feedback form at bit.ly/. Feedback will be accepted through April 10. 

Our office is still in the early stages of the decision-making process for this proposal. There will be additional community meetings and ample opportunities for input before any final decision is made. 

Community Meeting on Proposed
Recreational Cannabis Dispensary March 28

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Verano will join the 49th Ward office for a community meeting on Monday, March 28, at 6 pm to discuss preliminary plans to move Green Gate Dispensary from its current location at 7305 N. Rogers to the former Leona's location at 6935 N. Sheridan Road.

Green Gate Dispensary has outgrown its location on Rogers and is looking for a new storefront in Rogers Park that allows more space and is centrally located in the ward. They have picked the former Leona's site for its ample parking, convenient location, and spacious footprint. Verano intends to renovate the existing building to transform the former restaurant into a dispensary. Their plans do not include increasing bulk or density.

Verano is proposing a recreational dispensary to be housed at this location, requiring a zoning change from the current designation of B3-1 to C3-1, the most comparable zoning classification that permits adult-use cannabis dispensaries. Should the zoning change be approved, Verano would still be required to go through the Department of Planning and Development's (DPD) Lakefront Protection process due to its proximity to the lake. They would also be required to apply for a Special Use Permit through the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Join the 49th Ward office and Verano on March 28 to learn more. To register for the meeting, visit bit.ly/VeranoDispensary. Spanish translation will be available.