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Business Owner Seeks Approval to Build Banquet Center on South Main Street

The city's Landmarks Board has already given approval to demolish an addition to an old stone mill on the property.

An addition to a 150-year-old stone mill on South Main Street is expected to be demolished soon and a new banquet center built in its place, pending approval from the St. Charles City Council.

Sheri Steffans, owner of the Heart of St. Charles, is hoping to build the Old Stone Chapel and Banquet Center at 1106 South Main Street, which is currently the site of the mill.

Steffans has been working toward building the banquet center for the past year despite opposition from some South Main Street business owners who raised concerns that a banquet center would lead to more problems with late-night revelry downtown.

Banquet centers were not a permitted use in the area until the city council in March changed the zoning codes to allow them in the Historic Commercial District.

In January, the Landmarks Board approved Steffans' application to demolish the upper addition to the Old Mill after two experts determined it was not historic.

The lower stone portion of the building is considered historic, however, and would be renovated into a chapel.

Design plans for the 200-seat banquet room, which will be built as a new addition to the stone building were approved by the Landmarks Board in January.

The new addition will be built of distressed brick and a small amount of siding. The front will have a gabled pavilion that will serve as a porch. Parking will be available off of South Main Street and behind the property.

Landscaping would help camouflage some of the parking in the front of the building, however, some members of the Landmarks Board raised concerns that this was not consistent with the rest of Main Street.

"I'm still struggling with parking in the front," said Board Member Steve Martin. "It's inconsistent. It's not compatible with what's done anywhere else. It's more like a commercial shopping structure than an historic building."

On Monday, Steffans will present design plans to the Planning and Zoning Commission at the 6 p.m. meeting. The plans would also have to be approved by the City Council before work can proceed on the project.

Dino McDonnell January 24, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Sadly this what South Main Street business owners do, for the time I have been in St. Charles they have stopped any and all development on South Main from Trails Head to the casino! The issue is not late night revelry but competition. If one was to do a study of all the LLC property owners on South Main it would read like a who’s who in St. Charles to include ex-mayors and council persons. I remember when a group wanted to build some live work units across the street from the Country Ins and Suites and the South Main Street business owners had the Landmarks Board use the same lame excuse that it was not consistent with the rest of South Main street. I am surprised that Hendricks BBQ was able to open, they too could “have a problems with late-night revelry” in the thought train of the South Main business owners. Let’s not be fooled by this flawed rhetoric, this is nothing more than protectionism and has nothing to do with all the other issues raised because they can be taken care of through permits and they know it.

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