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Seven members of the La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals were present Monday to vote on recreational marijuana sales. Sandi Billard, Jim Maierhofer and Fred Seville voted in favor of prohibiting marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas of the county. Monty Whipple, Tim Aussem and Larry Louis voted against the prohibition.

Seven members of the La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals were present Monday to vote on recreational marijuana sales. Sandi Billard, Jim Maierhofer and Fred Seville voted in favor of prohibiting marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas of the county. Monty Whipple, Tim Aussem and Larry Louis voted against the prohibition.

The La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals is recommending no recreational marijuana businesses set up shop in unincorporated areas of the county.

With seven members present Monday night, Douglas Stockley cast the tie-breaking vote in the 4-3 tally. Sandi Billard, Jim Maierhofer and Fred Seville voted in favor of the prohibition. Monty Whipple, Tim Aussem and Larry Louis voted against it.

The La Salle County Board will get the final approval. They will vote to place the recommendation on file at Tuesday’s 1 p.m. board meeting, then vote on it after 30 days.

In the event the County Board doesn’t accept the prohibition recommendation, the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously recommended all recreational marijuana businesses build within I-1 industrial areas, requiring a special use permit.

This would not include the cultivation center in Oglesby, nor the dispensary in Ottawa, which both recently received licenses by the state and both exist within their city’s limits.

Billard said she’d like to see the county move slowly and start small with any marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas.

The County Board previously voted to collect a 3% sales tax on top of taxes collected by municipalities in La Salle County on recreational marijuana, meaning the county may take in sales tax revenue, even if it were to ban recreational marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas. Deputy State’s Attorney George Mueller, however, said he wasn’t certain that was what was voted on, noting he’d bring clarification in front of the full board Tuesday.

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