Visualizing the impact of state legislation on local communities


One convenience of having GIS is the ability to quickly visualize
different scenarios for planning purposes. The Village of Lincolnshire
recently leveraged its GIS data to do just that in response to a bill
under consideration by the Illinois House of Representatives. HB 30, the
Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, would allow
the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana to people
“diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.”
Should the bill become law, Lincolnshire officials would be faced with
the possibility of medical marijuana organizations renting or purchasing
commercial space within the Village.

In its current form, the bill states that no medical marijuana
organization may be within 2,500 feet of a “public or private preschool
or elementary or secondary school or day care center, day care home,
group day care home, or part day child care facility.” Decision makers
in the Village were interested in the proximity of Lincolnshire’s three
business districts to child care facilities. To determine this, GIS was
used to identify the property lines for all child care facilities and
then measure out 2,500-foot buffer zones in all directions. These were
added to a map of the three business districts, which highlighted areas
where medical cannabis organizations would not be allowed to set up.

Given the controversial nature of this proposal, Lincolnshire’s
decision makers were eager to get extra lead time to discuss how they
would respond. By providing a quick spatial analysis of two disparate
data sets, the Village has an efficient and powerful tool to aid their
discussion and decision making.