Email to Koos and the Council

Online submission to the entire Council dated March 10, 2023

Dear Mayor Koos,

Since I have not heard back from you, I am resending this letter regarding the Zoning Board vote on Wednesday. Please note, our concern is not about the legality of marijuana. It is about common sense and location.

We were appalled by two articles in The Pantagraph this week. Both were reports about North Normal. Our dismay focuses on the existential connection between them. We want to call your attention to both topics.

As longtime residents and local educators, we are afraid the Town of Normal is overlooking an obvious problem.

The first article I am referring to is Tuesday’s 3/7 Pantagraph article about recent shootings at Orlando Northbrook Estates in the 700 block of West Orlando. The history of crime in this area is well known, as is poverty and overcrowding.

The second article was today’s 3/9 Pantagraph article of concern is about the proposed marijuana dispensary planned for Raab Rd. The dispensary location is proposed to be in the same vicinity as these apartments and other housing complexes that are filled with students and low socio economic renters. Common sense by those of us who live in Normal, especially North, and West Normal, informs us that adding a marijuana dispensary to a “troubled” neighborhood simply creates too much risk.

The Town’s economic interest in this dispensary should not take precedence over the safety and quality of life for its citizens. Improving the quality of life via aesthetics, amenities and sustained property values would be a far better endeavor than putting a marijuana dispensary in an already-becoming-blighted area.

Why add another addictive substance provider to an area where there is already gambling, smoking, and liquor sales?

(Name redacted)

Koos response:

Next Pam Reece got involved after Lorenz asked questions:

See all those RED lines?

Many months ago Normal quit using the .org address and switched to a .gov. I was told that increased security. The “professional staff” didn’t get that message. The City Manager is doing a great job. She’s not even using a .gov email.

This cannabis dispensary and the one that still wants to locate in the Mandarin Gardens building will be back before the Council.

Normal can change from EV town to Weed Town!

7 thoughts on “Email to Koos and the Council

  1. I really think the cannabis dispensary should reconsider the Mandarin Garden location as it is still a functioning restaurant. That being said I dont know the current owners plans of wanting to sell or to retire from the restaurant business. A different, and in my opinion a better location nearby would be the LONG ABANDONED “Lone Star Steakhouse” eyesore on Veterans. While I understand it is in Bloomington, having no windows makes it extremely secure and there is plenty of parking and not much traffic on IAA drive compared to the large amount of vehicles visiting the 6 restaurants adjacent to that Mandarin Garden property. Plus a little friendly competition with the cannabis store across Veterans is what capitalism is all about.

    1. The LoneStar location makes way more sense, but Mayor Koos will use the Mandarin location to hurt the conservative family vibe of Chic-Fil-A and get more pot revenue to spend on his underpass and other pet projects.

      Koos is still bent about the Metro-zone split. He will never give up something to Bloomington even it is in the best interest of the B/N community.

  2. Speaking of long-abandoned restaurants, perhaps the never-occupied space at One Uptown Circle should be considered? It would provide closure to the political albatross of that being perpetually empty, it’s close to what is arguably its largest customer demographic, it would bring more traffic to downtown Normal, it’s close to public transportation to reduce possible related traffic violations, and it would provide the town with an explanation other than corruption for some of its policy decisions!

    1. Appreciate the article but you may want to check your math. 360 feet for a football field plus end zones.The 348 feet would be just shy of that but a good vision to see about how far it actually is.

  3. Here’s a hint… the poor & college kids don’t buy their marijuana at a dispensary. Not when they can get four times the product for the same price from their ghetto fabulous dealer. It might come in a baggie instead of a fancy package but it still gets you just as high.

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