Patrons of a popular soccer facility in unincorporated Elgin can soon commemorate victory and defeat with beer following a decision Tuesday that proved unpopular with the facility's neighbors.
Intra Soccer provides an indoor and outdoor setting for soccer and flag football games at its location near Mason and Tyrell roads. Andy Schcolnik, who leases the property for his business, sought a zoning change from the Kane County Board that would allow him to apply for a liquor license. But neighbors of the facility passed a petition against that plan. They cited fears about increased traffic, noise and rowdy behavior at what is already a busy establishment.
Nearby Gilberts resident Dan Pace even formed a group called Residents Against Soccer With Alcohol to defeat the proposal.
"We didn't move out west with even the slightest fear that some day a beer garden might be open within approximately 200 feet of our back patio," Pace said. "We have pages of signatures. Most are Gilberts residents who feel our police presence and efficiency would be compromised by this."
The names of Gilberts village board members were listed on the petition. But Schcolnik said he signed a written agreement with the village to personally reimburse the village for any additional police presence spawned by the introduction of alcohol on his property.
"When people play sports, at the end of sports, most people enjoy a beer," Schcolnik said. "We understand if we abuse that privilege it will come back to bite us."
County board member Kurt Kojzarek spoke in favor of allowing alcohol at the facility. He said Gilberts officials withdrew their opposition and many of the neighbors' concerns are unfounded.
"It's not a banquet hall, not a tavern, not an outdoor concert venue," Kojzarek said. "This is not going to change any landscaping or drainage issues on the neighboring parcels. And everything else in that area is zoned as a business or industrial. Mr. Schcolnik is policing his own patrons. I believe he is a good tenant and a good asset to the community."
Kojzarek's fellow board members agreed. Schcolnik's petition passed without a "no" vote.