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Sunday, February 23, 2020

City of Geneva Plan Commission met July 11

By Angelica Saylo Pilo | Aug 20, 2019

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City of Geneva Plan Commission met July 11.

Here is the minutes provided by the commission:

Chairman Stocking called the meeting of theGeneva Plan Commission to order at 7:00 p.m. followed:

Roll call

Present: Chairman Stocking; Commissioners Case, Evans, Leidig (7:03 p.m.), Mead, Slifka, Stevenson

Absent: Commissioners Dziadus and Kosirog

Staff Present: City Planner Paul Evans

Public Present: Mr. Wade Joyner, P.O. Box 266, Maple Park; Mr. Rares Bagiu, 619 W. Vermont Street, Villa Park; Mr. James Alabastro, 103 N. 11th Ave., St. Charles; Tom and Cindy Rau, 1702 Northwinds Dr., St. Charles; Colin and Glorianne Campbell, 18 S. 6th St., Geneva; Michael Olesen, 202 N. Sixth Street, Mike Kowalczyk, St. Charles; Geneva; Planet Depos Court Rptr. Paula Quetsch; Recording Secretary Celeste Weilandt

Approval of the Agenda

Commissioner Case made a motion to approve the agenda. Second by Commissioner Evans. Motion passed by voice vote of 6-0.

Approval of Minutes of May 23, 2019

Minutes of the May 23, 2019 meeting were approved on motion by Commissioner Case, second by Commissioner Mead. Motion passed by voice vote of 6-0.

Public Hearing

Chairman Stocking read the protocol for the following public hearing (Leidig arrives 7:03 p.m.) and swore in those individuals who would be speaking. City Planner Paul Evans read into the record the contents of the Plan Commission file.

A. Art History Brewing – A text amendment to Section 11-6C-3 of the Geneva Zoning Ordinance to add “Production Brewing” to the list of Special Uses in the B2 Business District and a Special Use for a Production Brewing Facility in the B2 Business District. Location: 649-653 W. State Street; Applicant: Tom Rau, Art History Brewing. Applicant, Mr. Tom Rau, 1702 Northwinds Drive, St. Charles, explained how he got into the craft brewing business and explained the background for the business name. He discussed the increased interest in craft breweries over the years, the demographics of the patrons, and the family-friendly activities that occur within the tap rooms.

He is opening a brewery in the downtown area (of Geneva) for the purpose of being close to the community and due to the events that take place in the City. New breweries are reinvesting in older buildings. A description of the brewery’s interior space and layout followed. No kitchen was planned for the site. However, he planned to partner with area restaurants so that patrons could bring food on- site.

Mr. Rau explained his company is a C corporation and he plans to hire a head brewer, a tap room manager, and 3 to 4 tap room staff. Interior seats total 78, while 40 seats exist in the beer garden. Busy times are expected to be Friday afternoon/evenings and Saturday afternoons. He plans to apply for temporary shade sail over the outside seating area initially, then apply for something more permanent in the future. Monitoring of parking was taken at peak times, noting the parking changes from daily business activity to early evening, with most parking being taken up by those who work at the businesses during the day. Approximately 40 to 60 available parking spaces exist over various times of the day. Additional on-street parking is available and Mr. Rau pointed out the area draws many walkers.

Clarification of the term “production brewery” followed, along with a summary of how various Internet social groups share their comments about craft breweries in various communities. Mr. Rau believes the craft breweries located in St. Charles, Batavia, and Geneva, will become a craft brewery destination.

Further renovation details followed, including the necessity for an increased water line (installed by the property owner); converting the existing front patio into a seating area; installing a roll-up door at the rear of the property (for tanks to be moved in/out of interior space); and adding two ADA restrooms.

Questions followed as to whether the Vape 312 shop was comfortable having the seating area, wherein Mr. Rau said the owner of Vape 312 was fine with the seating area and felt it may be a positive to his business. As for truck deliveries, Mr. Rau said they would be box truck with forklift deliveries once a week during business hours. The seating tables would be stored off-site during winter months.

Chairman Stocking opened up the hearing to public comment.

Mr. Colin Campbell, 18 S. Sixth Street, inquired about live entertainment/music being played in the beer garden, wherein Mr. Rau confirmed there would be outside speakers but no live music outside. He was very aware of noise decibels. Recalling that Council’s philosophy has been that businesses who serve liquor should primarily be restaurants, Mr. Campbell wondered if amending the City’s ordinance was in order.

Ms. Glorianne Campbell, 18 S. Sixth Street, voiced concern about any noise carrying over from the business into the residential areas south of State Street. Her other concern was the neighbors of the future residential development abutting the rear of this property. Lastly, Ms. Campbell voiced concern about drainage, wherein City Planner Evans explained it would continue the same as now.

Mr. Michael Olesen, 202 N. Sixth Street, shared his personal and positive experience with Mr. Rau. However, he pointed out that in the material put out by the City, the City had to include language that clarified the applicant’s business was a production brewery, which included a tap room and could distribute or sell beer, whereas his business, Stockholm’s, was a brew pub and could not distribute or sell beer -- the two were distinctly different. Also, Mr. Olesen, explained how the craft brew tourism was growing and that many of his patrons have purposely visited Geneva to get their brew “passports” stamped. As for concerns voiced about the younger bar crowd coming to the area, Mr. Olesen reported that craft breweries do not attract that segment of the population because craft brew drinkers are concerned more with a quality product and not mass consumption.

Regarding the earlier concern about the City having too many restaurants or breweries, Mr. Olesen understood that concern, but figured there would likely be some closures. He believed the applicants had a good plan and believed the business was an asset. He supported the proposal.

Mr. Mike Kowalczyk, a St. Charles resident and home brewer, discussed the fine background of the applicants, their business plan, and Mr. Rau’s understanding of the craft brew process. He supported the applicants’ proposal.

Commissioner Mead pointed out that a definition in the City’s ordinance, which was included in staff’s packet states a facility “may” include a restaurant, tavern or beverages produced on-site, which was an important distinction because it fell under different restrictions for liquor licenses. Details followed.

No further commissioner questions followed.

Motion by Commissioner Evans, second by Commissioner Case to close the public hearing. Roll call:

Aye: Case, Evans, Leidig Mead, Slifka, Stevenson, Stocking

Nay: None 


Motion by Commissioner Mead, second by Commissioner Evans to approve the text amendment to Section 11-6C-3 of the Geneva Zoning Ordinance to add “Production Brewing” as defined in the staff report and related materials, to the list of Special Uses allowed in the B2 Business District. Roll call:

Aye: Case, Evans, Leidig, Mead, Slifka, Stevenson, Stocking

Nay: None 


Motion by Commissioner Mead, second by Commissioner Leidig to approve a Special Use permit for a Production Brewing facility in the B2 Business District, subject to the findings of fact contained in the staff report for 649-653 W. State Street. Roll call:

Aye: Case, Evans, Leidig, Mead, Slifka, Stevenson, Stocking

Nay: None 


Concept Review

A. USA Transport Group – Conceptual review of a major truck repair development. The concept would require Annexation, a Comprehensive Plan Amendment, a Zoning Map Amendment, and Site Plan Approval. Location: Northwest corner of Old Kirk Road and Reed Road; Applicant: Rares Bagiu, USA Transport Group. Attorney Wade Joyner, representing applicant, Mr. Rares Bagiu, president of USA Transport Group, explained his client was seeking to come under the I1 Light Industrial District. His client was seeking commissioner input on the proposal.

Mr. Rares Bagiu, 619 W. Vermont Street, Villa Park, Illinois discussed that he started his business 11 years ago with one truck and the company grew to 56 units with 32 of his own trucks. His current office was located in Bensenville, his repair facility was in Des Plains, and truck parking was in East Dundee. He was trying to consolidate all activities into one site. Describing the site, Mr. Bagiu explained that he chose the site because it did not face Roosevelt Road, which was a positive. The 9500 sq. foot property would have a four-bay facility for trucks and would include office space. The property would have to be annexed into the City’s I-1 Industrial Use. A total of five employees would be working at the site, starting with one mechanic and working up to five mechanics. Expected truck traffic would be 3 units per day with trucks entering from Old Kirk Road.

Mr. Bagiu stated he was seeking commissioner input on his plan at this point. He discussed the type of work that would take place at the facility, i.e., preventative maintenance on trucks but not body work or painting, explaining that full-size trucks could be worked on in the interior of the facility. Trailer repair would also take place. The trucks would come in from all over the country to be generally maintained and then returned to the road. Hours of operation would be scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Should trucks arrive in the evening, they will be parked on-site outside of the facility and brought into the bay during the morning. Mr. Bagiu explained what attracted him to the site was because the location was off the main road, the surrounding businesses did similar work, and there were no residential areas nearby.

Commissioner Evans expressed concern that the undeveloped site across the street (the Enclaves) was planned for residential development. She asked staff the current status of the site and whether the proposed trucking business would deter future development of that site. Wherein, Planner Evans explained that staff has had few inquiries about the site and no development has occurred to date. The area from St. Charles south down into the Averill area and to this area down to Fabyan Parkway has become an industrial corridor. Also, Planner Evans reported the plans from the Southeast Master Plan were now looking at this site as more industrial than residential.

Commissioners discussed the underutilization of the site, the tax contributions the business would bring into the City, and that the site was perfect for the proposed business.

Per Commissioner Stevenson’s questions, City Planner Evans briefly explained that the future land use plan indicated a traffic signal was planned for Old Kirk Road and Roosevelt Road if future developments were to occur and there would be a third railroad line. An explanation of the annexation process followed. As a closing comment, Mr. Bagiu reported the county sent him to the City of Geneva because he wanted to develop his business on this site.

Public Comment – None.

Other Business

City Planner Evans reported there will be a Plan Commission meeting on July 25, 2019. The Geneva Winery is looking at 426 S. Third Street as a micro-winery location for wine tasting. As for the reorganization of the City’s Plan Commission and Zoning Board, Mr. Evans reported the matter will be discussed at the August 5th Council meeting. A brief update followed on the charette outcome for the former Mill Race Inn site and its expectations. Chairman Stocking relayed that the wording in the resolution the Council will be voting upon for this matter will be very important. He wanted to ensure the commission can do its job, wherein Planner Evans noted a draft resolution was already on-line to review.


Meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m. on motion by Commissioner Evans, seconded by Commissioner Case. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote of 7-0.


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City of Geneva Plan Commission