Naperville Liquor Commission votes down proposal to sell beer and wine in mini-marts and gas stations
City of Naperville Liquor Commission met Friday, Feb. 3.
LIQUOR COMMISSION MINUTES
February 9, 2017
LIQUOR COMMISSION MINUTES February 9, 2017
I. CALL TO ORDER
The Liquor Commission met on February 9, 2017 in the City Council Chambers.
Mayor Chirico called the meeting to order at 3:00p.m.
II. ROLL CALL
Liquor Commissioner Mayor Chirico
Commissioners Marc Blackman (3:01pm by phone)
Chuck Maher Dr. Jim Ostrenga Paul O’Toole Whitney Robbins Joe Vozar Scott Wehrli
NPD Liquor Liaison
Detective Dan Riggs
Scott Wehrli moved to allow Marc Blackman participate by phone, seconded by Joe Vozar. Vote unanimous, motion carried.
III. MINUTES OF January 5, 2016 COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
Minutes from the January 5, 2017 meeting were accepted and entered into record by Mayor Chirico. Chuck Maher moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Paul O’Toole. Vote unanimous. Motion carried.
IV. PUBLIC FORUM
Phil Cullen – Empire Burger Bar He presented a request to have Bourbon Lockers in his restaurant. Chuck Maher asked where the lockers were located. They are located in the Whiskey lounge. He is requesting building two more bars. Mayor Chirico told him to bring the plans to him for approval.
Dr. Ostrenga asked who owns the bourbon. The customer purchases the bottle through Empire and stores it in the locker.
Scott Wehrli stated that he’s seen this before and he felt it important to note that this is a big difference from Bottle Service.
Kavita Athanikar stated that they are the first to request this. As long as the point of purchase is made at the restaurant, it is allowed. There may be a permit needed if they are charging for the locker. We could regulate it by developing a permit for this service.
Mayor Chirico would like to review our code and figure out how to modify the code.
Joe Vozar moved to direct staff to develop language for a permit to allow lockers for controlled bottle, purchased by establishment and controlled by establishment, seconded by Chuck Maher. Discussion followed. The motion was amended by Joe Vozar to direct staff to bring back language to decide if a permit is needed or a change in the current code, seconded by Chuck Maher. Vote unanimous, motion carried.
This will be on the March agenda
Robert Fischer He requested that the Liquor Commission be more transparent and post the Liquor Commission agenda packet on line. He would also like to see the Liquor Commission minutes posted on line. Currently, the Liquor Commission minutes are posted on line once they are approved.
We are required to post notice and an agenda. If we are directed to include a packet then that would be similar to City Council that would be submitted to our Communications Department and be posted on line.
V. OLD BUSINESS
a. Liquor License – Mini Marts/Gas Stations
Kavita Athanikar stated that last month she was directed to bring back language for the commissioners to consider. We have two petitioners formally requested the ability to sell beer and wine in a package form for off premise consumption at gas stations. The language in the ordinance expands the current G1 license. The definition of grocery store has been expanded to include grocery store or convenience mart. The purpose of the definition is to outline that the sale of retail food items and gasoline products are really secondary to the sale of liquor items. Within the ordinance itself, 80% of the stores revenues must come from food items, gasoline products, and or other store items. The total footprint of the establishment must be 15,000 sq, ft. No more than 10% of the floor area can be used for liquor display. The remaining conditions are the same: off premises only, sale in original package, no liquor tastings allowed. There would be a cap of 3.
Mayor Chirico asked how many potential mini marts would qualify. There are 30 gas stations in Naperville. Of those, only one would not qualify.
Paul O’Toole asked how many stores sell package liquor. Kavita Athanikar stated that we have approximately 53 licenses. Dr. Ostrenga asked how we came to the cap of 3. It really came from the existing license plus the 2 requests, Pride and BP.
Speakers Dashurhat Patel, owner of BP at 901 N. Washington He would like to be considered to sell beer and wine. His building is 3200 sq. ft. with 900 sq. ft. of selling space. There are three employees in the morning, two in the afternoon and one overnight.
Mayor Chirico said one way to curtail this is to have two employees at all times.
Robert Zedekar, District Manager for TrueNorth, Shell Station at 1295 Rickert Dr. He would like their store to be considered to sell beer and wine. The building is 4200 sq. ft. He did not have an exact number of selling space. From 10pm – 6am, there is one employee.
Guy Morgano – Pride They have two people from 6am to 10pm and one person 10pm to 6am. They would have 2200sq ft. of selling space. Their building is 3973sq. ft.
This ordinance would be for beer and wine and not spirits.
Joe Vozar has thought about this and he will not be in support. There will not be any economic value.
Whitney Robbins is on the fence. She has thought about it a lot. If it is capped at 3, then every meeting will have a request for another license. There are some states that allow the sale of beer in gas stations but they don’t allow coolers.
Paul O’Toole does not support this. It is a slippery slope. You have 53 package sale establishments and all of the gas stations will want this.
Marc Blackman has similar concerns. Besides the gas stations, all of the establishments that are currently selling there will be no economic value. It will be taking market share from one to another. Also, we would need to look at how much selling space will be dedicated to this.
Mayor Chirico wanted to remind everyone that the economic impact on the City is not a criteria for us to be judging decisions on. Our role is to make sure that we have rules and regulations that provide for safe distribution and consumption of alcohol. An argument can be made that this is a less safe environment because of the number of employees.
Dr. Ostrenga agrees with the Mayor that we are not responsible for deciding economic impact. Potentially, this would bring 15 – 20 more package stores to the community. Security is a big concern. It’s one thing to be a store that happens to sell gasoline like Costco, and it’s another to be a gasoline store that happens to sell groceries.
Chuck Maher asked the store owners present what there theft rate is.
Guy Morgano, Pride, said the theft rate at their stores is very low. In the convenience store world, theft is internal. They sell alcohol from 8am to 10pm and then they lock the cooler doors and cage off the other alcohol.
Chuck Maher asked if all of their employees were 21. Yes, they are all 21. We need to put the word convenience store in the definition. He further stated that we could put in restrictions to make sure the public is safe.
Whitney Robbins feels there is a difference from what Pride is doing then what a Marathon or Citgo would do. If they don’t fit into the convenience category or the traditional gas station category, what category is it?
Scott Wehrli was looking in the code for location restrictions. Most of these gas stations, back up to single or multi-family residential. In our location restrictions, these have not been taken into consideration. Would we be addressing that?
Kavita Athanikar stated that our location restrictions mirrors the State of Illinois’s location restrictions which is 100ft. from a church or local school. With the potential 30 gas stations, three would be barred for being 100ft. within a church or school.
Marc Blackman feels what Pride is doing is different from a gas station. He feels there’s not a huge demand for this.
Joe Vozar moved to approve the draft of the ordinance changes that were presented to the Liquor Commission for the G1 license, seconded by Whitney Robbins. Vote 0 ayes 7 Nays, vote fails
Mayor Chirico stated that at this time, there is no license category to fit this.
Guy Morgano asked that if he starts a conversation with the Attorney and craft some language, could they come back. Yes they can.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
a. Sidewalk Permitting
Tabled until the March 9, 2017 meeting.
a. Restaurant Association
Christine Jeffries reported that now until February 9th is Restaurant Week. Log onto DineNaperville.com. for all of the specials. There are 40 restaurants participating. Then there are specials for Valentine’s Day. The Dining Guide went out. It is delivered to 56,000 homes in Naperville. Each year they pick a charitable organization and this year it is the North Central College’s Theater District promoting dinner and a show.
They are working with Kavita Athanikar and Allison Laff, TED, on the sidewalk cafes which they feel is a great idea.
b. Beverage Alcohol Seller Server Education Training (BASSET) – Employee Training
January 59 attended, 19 no shows At the last meeting, we discussed having annual BASSET training and having quarterly reviews for businesses for information that would go to all of the businesses as well as possible retraining of offenders of various things throughout that time. He was looking for an avenue to do this and he came across the on line learning training that the Police Department uses, Power DMS. He is currently looking at using this system for Liquor. This would bring additional training to the Restaurants and liquor license holders as well as having Naperville’s own on line training for BASSET recertification.
Mayor Chirico reiterated that first time BASSET must be taken in person. This would be for renewals.
How this system would work besides being available for renewals, if there is a policy change regarding liquor, it would be emailed out to all of the liquor license holders. They would then have to sign off indicating that it had been read.
c. Tobacco Enforcement Review
Detective Riggs reported that they have completed the second round of compliance checks. There were no offenders.
d. Liquor Reports
9 DUI’s January 2017 17 DUI’s January 2016
Five Under 21 compliance checks were completed in January and all were in compliance.
e. Liquor Concept Committee Report
In December, Kavita Athanikar and Emy Trotz met with the following: Yu’s Bistro Rt. 59 Requesting a Class A license. Mayor Chirico approved giving them an application.
Noah’s Event Venue Shuman Banquet Facility Requesting a K-Catering License. Mayor Chirico approved giving them application.
January 19, 2017 Firkin Festival Firkin is a type of beer. It’s made in a cask. They can’t find a location to hold their event. They would like to hold it in October but there are no parks available at that time. They will be getting back to us.
Jewel, Naper Blvd. They want to be able to give tastings. They are asking to change from a Class D to a Class U. This was approved by the Mayor.
Organic Nail and Spa They are opening up a day spa which involves massage, nails, and skincare. They don’t have a location yet. They would like to serve alcohol. This is on hold.
Crafty Coconut This was a no show. She wanted a place where people would come and make crafts while having a glass of wine or a beer.
Wine Store Looking to open a Specialty Wine Shop.
VIII. EXECUTIVE SESSION
Members of the Local Liquor Commission, a motion would be in order to go into closed session to discuss matters of discipline under the jurisdiction of this quasi-adjudicative body as provided under Chapter 5 of the Illinois Complied Statute, section 120/2( c ) (4). Motion made by Chuck Maher at 4:20pm, seconded by Scott Wehrli. Vote unanimous, motion carried.
Next Meeting: The next regularly scheduled Liquor Commission meeting will be held on March 9, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.
No further business to come before the commission. Dr. Ostrenga made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:15p.m., seconded by Paul O’Toole. Vote unanimous, Motion carried.
Organizations in this Story
400 South Eagle Street
Naperville, IL - 60540