Belleville tightens rules for thrift shops
Belleville has more than 40 resale and antique shops and the owners will now have to face tighter rules approved by aldermen Monday night.
The City Council voted 12-3 to approve an ordinance that limits the number of secondhand stores to 10 in the city and two in the downtown area but all stores that have a license as of March 31 would be allowed to remain open under a grandfather clause.
The ordinance also limits the types of items that can be displayed on the outside of the business.
A secondhand dealer will not be allowed to store or display any merchandise outside the store except for goods normally intended for outdoor use. Also, the ordinance calls for the displays to be located within 20 feet of the retail store and the goods can only be on display from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
It becomes a matter of doing the right thing. We’re not trying to hurt anybody’s business.
Belleville Alderman Roger Wigginton
“We want to get a handle on these type of operations that are leaving all kinds of items out all day, all night, week in, week out hurting the appearance of the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Ward 8 Alderman Roger Wigginton, who is chairman of the Ordinance and Legal Review Committee that first reviewed the new rules.
“It becomes a matter of doing the right thing,” he said. “We’re not trying to hurt anybody’s business.”
Wigginton said the city has received complaints about a small number of the shops.
Joe Hazel of Ward 1, Mike Buettner of Ward 2 and Trent Galetti of Ward 7 voted against the ordinance. Ward 1 Alderman Ken Kinsella was absent. The ordinance was supported by Jane Pusa of Ward 2, Kent Randle and Scott Tyler of Ward 3, Johnnie Anthony and Raffi Ovian of Ward 4, Phillip Silsby and Ed Dintelman of Ward 5, Andy Gaa and Bob White of Ward 6, Phil Elmore of Ward 7 and James Musgrove and Wigginton of Ward 8.
Hazel told the council he did not have a problem with shops facing tougher regulations but that the council shouldn’t limit the number of shops to 10.
What if we have 11 great businesses in town?
Belleville Alderman Joe Hazel
“What if we have 11 great businesses in town?” he asked during an interview after the meeting.
Wigginton said the council could revise the store limit to 15 or 20 if the need arises.
Tejuana Simpson, who owns the TJ Thrift Shop at 12 S. 17th St., said she has no problem with the new ordinance.
Monday afternoon, Simpson had several toys on display outside her store. Under the new rules, those items would have to be brought inside.
Annissa McCaskill, director of economic development, planning and zoning for the city, said as of October, the city had 48 secondhand shops but since then others have applied.
The updated ordinance does not apply to nonprofit organizations and the license costs $25 a year.
In other business
Eric Schauster, assistant director of the economic development, planning and zoning department, gave the City Council a report on the 30 businesses that had to file development agreement compliance reports in 2016.
The city approved $756,000 in tax incentives to the businesses which in turn generated $1.4 million in taxes for a net gain of $644,000, according to the report.
These figures do not include the two major shopping centers in the city, Belleville Crossing off Illinois 15, and Green Mount Commons at the intersection of Carlyle Avenue and Green Mount Road. In this reporting period, these centers received $4.1 million in incentives and generated $7 million in taxes for a net gain of $2.9 million, according to the report.