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City Council tables ordinance for new Subway

Panel amends liquor license to accommodate ‘brew and view’ theater

STERLING – The City Council Monday put off deciding whether to vacate a public right of way that would allow Reins Street to become an entrance for a proposed Subway restaurant on Locust Street until it has more information from the developer.

Daniel Sigwards, Katherine Sigwards and Harkness Properties LLC made the request.

The site has four lots owned by Harkness Properties, and the Subway would result in more traffic than the previous properties, which were two homes and an abandoned motorcycle shop, the city said.

The city has yet to receive a site plan from the developer; the ordinance previously was supported by city staff and approved by the planning commission when the understanding was that the existing Reins Street approach was going to be the access point.

The Plan Commission approved vacating Reins on May 16, but since then, the developers have lobbied for a separate entrance on the north side of the site.

Illinois Department of Transportation engineers have given conditional approval of the new entrance only if the city vacates Reins. Once that’s done, the city has no more say in the access points, City Manager Scott Shumard said.

However, IDOT engineers said they preferred the existing configuration, which Shumard also preferred, citing safety concerns with added traffic.

Also Monday, the council approved an ordinance amending the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Code to allow for theater owners – such as Skip Huston, owner of the Sterling Theater – to apply for a liquor license. Huston wants to open a “brew and view” venue at the downtown movie theater.

A proposal was developed and submitted to the Liquor Commission by city staff, including Police Chief Ron Potthoff. Theaters operating with the liquor license may have patrons younger than 21 present, like restaurants and bowling alleys, but they cannot be served alcohol. 

In other action

Also Monday, the council:

– Approved the reappointment of Dr. Joseph Gaziano, of Sterling, and John Benson, of Sterling, to 5-year terms on the Hospital Board. The new terms will run through June 30, 2018.

– Approved an ordinance rezoning Good Neighbor Care, 2705 Avenue E, from R-3 to R-3 special use to allow for the addition of 30 private and semi-private rooms in a "Memory Care" wing for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

– Approved a resolution declaring a piece of real estate at 13 E. Fourth St. as surplus land. The land was acquired by the city through abandonment proceedings and demolition and abating asbestos was estimated at $100,000. Declaring the property as surplus allows the city to move forward with selling the property.

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