Committee gives early approval to liquor store, despite objections

The proposed liquor store would be located at 2020 West Highway 50, the former home of Creve Coeur Camera. Neighboring business owners Drs. James and Ellen Bollmeier spoke, along with a couple property owners near the location, regarding their concern for the type of business being proposed at that location.. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Community Development Committee approved two plans for proposed businesses, including a package liquor store that will go into the former site of Creve Coeur Camera. 

There were many residents and visitors in the audience Monday night to speak in favor and opposition to a proposed business looking to occupy the location at 2020 West Highway 50 previously known as Creve Coeur Camera. The applicant, Davutnan Kilic, is hoping the council will approve the rezoning of the property to allow him to open a package liquor store. The planning commission voted 4-3 on February 12 against the planned use of the property. 

The property owner, Brad McMillin, addressed the committee stating Kilic is wanting to open a high-end liquor store, aimed at selling primarily unique wines and spirits. 

“We will work with the city regarding any fencing for security and aesthetically with landscaping, as well as lighting and cameras,” said McMillin.

Neighboring business owners Drs. James and Ellen Bollmeier spoke, along with a couple property owners near the location, regarding their concern for the type of business being proposed at that location. The Bollmeiers addressed current issues they have along the backs of their properties, Bollmeier Dental and 4Paws Animal Hospital, with trash, bottles, cigarette butts and occasionally finding strangers sitting behind their properties drinking alcohol. There is a portion of the fencing that does not connect, allowing people to enter the back of their property.

Staff noted this property, prior to Creve Coeur Camera, was a 7-Eleven convenience store which sold liquor. Because the planned use changed to a business that did not sell liquor after the 7-Eleven left is why the applicant is seeking a zoning amendment now. Should this business leave, another business that sells liquor could replace it without needing council approval of the planned use. 

Ward 4 Alderman Mark Morton made a motion for approval, with an amendment that the property owner will need to provide adequate fencing to separate it from the neighboring properties. The council will vote on this item for first reading at their March 4th meeting.

In other business, the committee also approved a planned use for Sunbelt Rentals at 8520 East Highway 50, a development that will include an 8,995 square foot building, 1,100 square feet of display/sales area and 5,000 square feet of warehouse/repair area. The committee approved an amendment requiring a decorative fence along the front of the property with an exception granted to have a black, vinyl-coated chain link fence in the back. 

Council will also see at their March 4th meeting two resolutions for subdivision of land. The first is a for a five lot minor subdivision along Lawn Avenue, just south of State Street, to be known as the Wallace Woods Subdivision. The applicant is proposing the construction of five, single-family residences. The second is for the office park known as Insight Professional Park, to be located behind Green Mount Road Harley Davidson. The subdivision of the office park will be for approximately six office buildings, with common maintenance of the parking lot and landscaping.