ST. CHARLES • A controversial plan to establish two small banquet facilities just south of the Main Street historic preservation area appears to be moving forward.
Bruce Evans, the city's community development director, said the planning and zoning commission reached a tentative consensus Wednesday night to allow banquet halls along Main south of Barbour Street.
However, Evans said the commission also indicated it wants to continue an existing prohibition on such facilities along Main from Barbour north to Madison Street.
If passed by the City Council, that zoning change could pave the way for approval of a request to renovate an empty 156-year-old building at 1106 South Main into a banquet space and wedding chapel.
The request also calls for erecting a small banquet facility on a vacant lot across the street.
Some residents and shop owners along South Main have opposed the plan itself and a change in the zoning law to allow it.
They complained that and any other banquet halls in the future could only add to current late-right rowdiness by customers of a string of bars a few blocks north.
Sheri Steffens, who would develop the new facilities, has insisted that her operation would cater to small events that would have no negative impact on nearby blocks.