DeKALB – Too many unanswered questions and too little feedback from neighbors prompted DeKalb aldermen to postpone the decision to allow a bar in the Glidden Crossing shopping center.
“This is just a public hearing. We not asking for any action tonight,” city attorney Dean Frieders told the City Council at Monday’s meeting.
He told aldermen, however, that they have the opportunity to draft narrowly-tailored language in an amendment to the annexation agreement.
“It was necessary to have a proposed amendment to have the public hearing,” Frieders said, adding that there’s no legal requirement to notify the neighbors.
Only one resident, Tom Specht, spoke during the public hearing, expressing his displeasure at the lack of notice to the neighbors.
“There’s no way we could get residents to respond on such short notice,” he said.
“I understand things change. If this change was for the betterment of the people, that’s fine, but it doesn’t sound like this is in the best interest of the city of DeKalb,” Specht said. “You open the door a little bit and you don’t know what you’re going to end up with. I prefer you deny the whole thing.”
Representatives of the developer, Glidden Station LLC, said there is an unnamed potential tenant who wants to serve food and alcohol and make video gambling available in a store on the property. The shopping center, at 975 S. Annie Glidden Road south of the intersection of Annie Glidden and Malta Road, is anchored by Schnucks.
Derek Hiland, the city’s principal planner, said the city would receive additional restaurant and bar tax revenue if the business opens. He said gaming terminals could generate about $2,000 a month in revenue to the city.
“I would like to see more specific information. We’re not talking about opening the flood gates. We have an opportunity to control this,” said 6th Ward Alderman Dave Baker.
Aldermen agreed they would like to see more information about the proposed tenant in the 2,000-square-foot storefront. The public hearing was continued until the Dec. 9 City Council meeting. At that meeting, the shopping center’s owners will make a formal presentation with details about the proposed business.