St. Charles aldermen not ready to treat microbreweries like any bar or restaurant

  • Microbreweries such as Riverlands Brewing Company are looking to the city to make it easier for them to operate in the city, but aldermen this week said they're concerned about giving them too much flexibility.

    Microbreweries such as Riverlands Brewing Company are looking to the city to make it easier for them to operate in the city, but aldermen this week said they're concerned about giving them too much flexibility. Courtesy of Riverlands Brewing Company

 
 
Updated 6/18/2021 5:11 PM

St. Charles microbreweries Riverlands Brewing Company, and D and G Brewing are seeking to expand their dining and entertainment options, but the city's aldermen this week expressed concern about giving the sites -- including one in a residential area -- privileges similar to what bars and restaurants enjoy.

As part of the city's response to help businesses deal with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, bars and restaurants have been allowed to use outdoor spaces not normally permitted for dining and entertainment. The allowance that also extended to microbreweries expires at the end of the year, but the microbreweries want to continue offering outdoor dining and entertainment after that.

 

Although the city's plan commission voted unanimously in April to allow microbreweries more freedom in their operations, the planning and zoning committee of aldermen on Monday delayed action until additional options are explored.

Ward 2 Alderman Rita Payleitner said the presented request was in essence a rezoning of microbreweries to entertainment businesses.

"(Microbreweries) were to be in the niche of manufacturing because, in fact, they were manufacturing," Payleitner said. "Now all of a sudden they're turning into an entertainment business. And I have an issue with pushing that on the neighbors, be they other manufacturing businesses or be they residential."

Ward 1 Alderman Ron Silkaitis said it's difficult to lump together microbreweries operating under different circumstances in different parts of the city and suggested addressing them on a case-by-case basis. Ward 4 Alderman David Pietryla said he couldn't support the expansion of operations as presented because of the negative impact on nearby residents.

Aldermen have heard from residents complaining about the noise from D and G Brewing.

"The residents have spoken," Pietryla said. "I wouldn't support it because it's too much of a hindrance on them."

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