DOWNTOWN — Dozens of Chatham-area residents cheered Friday as a zoning application for a medical-marijuana dispensary on East 87th Street was abruptly withdrawn.
"We won. The voice of the community spoke," said Linda Hudson, representing dozens of area residents who turned out for a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing at City Hall.
Hudson said the withdrawal of support by Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) proved critical.
"We forced the aldermen to change her position," Hudson said. "She finally informed them she stood with her community."
As the community rallied behind the 8th Ward Accountability Coalition, in recent days Harris insisted she had always had the neighborhood's interest at heart, saying, "This has been my mandate from the start. If my community does not want it, then neither do I."
"Ald. Michelle Harris needs to know that she works for us, and her community spoke today," Hudson said.
"We don't want medical marijuana at 1111 E. 87th St.," she added. "We have a victory today for the 8th Ward."
According to Hudson, the dispensary would have been located across the street from a skating rink and next door to a juvenile counseling center.
"We just didn't want it at that location, near our children," she said.
Representatives of the applicant, Harborside Illinois Grown Medicine, did not attend the hearing and could not immediately be reached for comment. The withdrawal of the application was announced by a Department of Planning and Development staffer.
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