WEST ROGERS PARK — Pot dispensary owner Bob Kingsley released renderings of his proposed 420 Windy City clinic to help alleviate any concerns neighbors might have over his plan to open near Warren Park.
On Friday, Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) came out against the proposal to open the dispensary, encouraging residents to attend a public hearing next month and also speak out against it.
"I do support medical marijuana," she said Tuesday in a phone interview. "I’m just very concerned about that location."
The law restricts any of the approved dispensaries from opening near schools or daycares, but does not prohibit them from opening near parks.
Silverstein didn't offer any specific examples of how children playing in Warren Park could be harmed, only saying that the law's intent should also be applied to this situation.
"It was their intent to protect the kids," she said of the lawmakers. "That's all I would like to comment on at this point."
Kingsley, a former trader and the man behind 420 Capital Management, which received a coveted state license to operate a clinic in the city, said his business would be contained to the property at 6501 N. Western Ave. and not at all affect Warren Park next door.
"It’s important to know that the state and city say it’s OK to be next to and near the park," he said. "We’re not [going to be] a red-light district."
Kingsley released exterior renderings of what the clinic would look like in hopes of winning over the alderman and any of her constituents who don't want the clinic to open.
The current building at the proposed site, which is used for cab parking next to Warren Park (Benjamin Woodard/DNAinfo)
"We think we have a very good thing," he said. "We hope that the alderman jumps on the bandwagon — and she can take the credit."
Kingsley said he intends to spend $400,000 on renovations of the former car dealership, which has been used by a cab company for parking.
He said the additional lighting and security would be "a welcome addition" to the neighborhood.
Regulations require heavy security at the state's dispensaries. Kingsley said he planned to hire off-duty law enforcement officers as security when it opens. The dispensary would also include a fingerprint scanner and two waiting areas — each with an armed guard — that patients would need to pass through before paying for their pot.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 9 a.m. May 28 to hear Kingsley's proposal and other proposals for dispensaries throughout the city.
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