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Bloomington To Consider Marijuana Zoning, Axe-Throwing Business

Vacant warehouse, 216 E. Grove St., Bloomington
Eric Stock
Bloomington's city council will consider a special use permit for a proposed axe-throwing business at 216 E. Grove St.

The City of Bloomington is expected to formally bring zoning into its marijuana conversation on Monday night.

The city council will consider enlisting the help of the city's planning commission to determine where the city could locate a marijuana dispensary when cannabis sales become legal next year.

Billy Tyus
Credit City of Bloomington
Bloomington Deputy City Manager Bill Tyus said city staff established a working concept of cannabis dispensary guidelines based on how some other cities have chosen to regulate it.

Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus said this still doesn't lock the city in on allowing cannabis sales.

“That is not, to be clear, an approval of allowing dispensaries or other types of establishments,” Tyus said. “It is simply to start the process and the conversation.”

It also remains unclear if the city will ever get a license for a marijuana dispensary.

What might a cannabis ordinance look like? City staff is offering a working concept, banning them within 250 feet of residential areas and 500 feet of schools, daycare centers, churches, playgrounds and residential care centers.

“That is based on staff going out and looking at model or sample ordinances from the Illinois Municipal League, IML, looking at what other communities have done as well and just taking some of what we have seen and taking some of the conversation that we’ve heard and putting together a starting point,” Tyus said.

Tyus said the planning commission will also be asked to weigh in on whether to allow cannabis cafes where marijuana can be consumed on-site.

The commission is expected to hold a public hearing in November and have recommendations for the city council to consider in December.

The city council would also have to decide how much it would tax cannabis sales. Local municipalities can charge up to 3%.


Bloomington could pave the way for an axe-throwing business to open near downtown.

The city council will consider a special use permit for the recreational site Axe Social to open in what's currently a vacant two-story warehouse on East Grove Street.

Tyus noted axe-throwing has become the latest craze.

“What we’ve seen and heard is it’s a recreational activity that’s becoming more and more popular across the country,” Tyus said.

The building had been used previously as a banking storage facility.

The city's Zoning Board of Appeals endorsed the project in September. It stipulated owner Dan Kelley adhere to existing safety standards set by the National Axe Throwing Federation and World Axe Throwing League.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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