A new liquor ordinance in Highland would cut off any new video gaming parlors in order to serve up chances for potential new restaurants.
The Highland City Council on May 15 approved and amended a liquor ordinance that created different classifications of liquor licenses and raised liquor license fees by $100 across the board.
“This plan is not to make money off of the taverns,” Highland Mayor Joe Michaelis said. “It is to be more consistent and fair for everyone.”
Before the change, the city only had one classification of liquor license (Class A) for establishments pouring for on-site consumption, according to the City Manager Mark Latham. The city was limited to only 23 such licenses.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Recently, Michaelis, who by statute also serves as the city liquor commissioner, noticed that the city had reached its threshold for liquor licenses, and two of the licenses were being taken up by gaming parlors. By state law, whenever a video gaming parlor opens shop, the owner must have a liquor license.
The problem with the old license ordinance, according to Latham, was that it could hinder opening of potential new bar and grills, a type of business city leaders covet.
“They are looking to limit the gaming parlors, because they are taking original Class A1 licenses from people who want to open up a restaurant or bar,” Latham said.
To combat this, Michaelis worked with Michael McGinley, the city attorney, to create new classifications for liquor licenses, which are broken up by different types of establishments. Specifically, the new ordinance creates 11 categories and each of those categories put a limit on the number of licenses that can be issued. The categories are further broken down into establishments that have gaming and those that do not.
Michaelis said no one with a current license would have it taken away. The only affect they would see will be in the fees they pay. The council passed a $100 across-the-board increase. However, some existing businesses might experience a more substantial increase if they had been reclassified into a new category.
“It depends where you fall into what category,” Michaelis said.
Every Highland business that currently has a liquor license, will be able to renew when their license expires at the end of June. Any new business seeking a license must come before the council to get approved.
Land use amendments approved
The council approved amendments made to the city’s Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map.
According to the Building and Zoning Supervisor Derek Jackson, the amendments focus on three areas within the city that were just not “jiving” with the vision of the plan. During the April 3 Combined Planning and Zoning Board meeting, the board recommended the amendments for approval.
The properties are located on Highland Road, State Route 160, and the Veterans Honor Parkway and St. Rose Road intersection.
The Highland Road amendments focus on two properties that the staff would like to reclassify from residential to industrial. The properties include an unaddressed 28.5-acre tract of ground currently zoned as industrial that is owned by Grandview Farms Limited Partnership. The second property is 12052 Highland Road, which is also zoned as industrial and is owned by Jane Korte Trust or Kotre & Luitjohan Contractors. Both properties are on the western side of town and adjoin existing industrial operations.
The area on State Route 160 includes 26 properties that city staff want to reclassify from residential to mixed-use in the Future Land Use Map. The properties are owned by Grandview Farm Limited Partnership, Archview Development Properties, and RMR Development LLC. Some of the lots are classified as C-4 limited business district, while some of the smaller properties are R-2-B for multiple family residential. Because of the existing commercial zoning and the medical related offices being developed on Flax Drive, the city staff recommended that the areas be classified as mixed use, to help accommodate a mix of medical, commercial at those locations.
The amended areas at the Veterans Honor Parkway and St. Rose Road intersection includes five properties. The properties the the northwest and northeast section of the intersection were amended to be classified from residential to commercial and mixed-use in the plan. Four of those properties are owned by Tut Properties Inc and the other is owned by Marker Properties. The properties were zoned as C-4 limited business district properties. Three of the properties will be reclassified to commercial and the two northern-most tracts will be mixed-use.
The council approved the mayor’s reappointment of Terry Remelius to the Police and Fire Commission. Remelius agreed to serve another three-year term, according to Michaelis. His new term will expire in June 2020.
The council also approved the mayor’s recommendation to reappoint Russell Heuberger to the Liquor Control Commission. Heuberger has agreed to serve an additional three-year term on the commission. Heuberger is a long-time member of the commission, which is why he requested the approval of his reappointment. Heuberger’s term will expire in June 2020. The commission meets on an “as needed” basis.
The council approved the mayor’s reappointment of Jon Boulanger to the Telecommunications Advisory Board. Michaelis said that Boulanger expressed an interest to continue serving on the board, in his position as the vice chairman on the board. Boulanger will serve another three-year term on the board that will expire May 31, 2020.
Smart grid meter tech support
The council approved the purchase of a $38,382.67 technical support and maintenance agreement with Tantalus Systems Inc. The city selected Tantalus to provide the smart grid meter network. The city also chose to purchase Tantalus hardware for their network. To use the Tantalus software, the city must renew an annual support agreement the covers software and maintenance updates, endpoint licenses and technical support. The agreement is necessary to run the Smart Grid system. The agreement is a budgeted item in the 2018 fiscal year budget.
Vehicle named surplus property
The council approved the naming of a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee used by the city building and zoning division as surplus property. The council also authorized the sale of the vehicle.
According to a memo sent by Kevin Limestall, the building and zoning chief official, the Jeep is in continuous need of preventative maintenance. The vehicle was used on a daily basis for code enforcement and inspections.
The vehicle has more than 82,849 miles on it. The vehicle will be sold to the public through a sealed bidding process. The bid collecting will be taken through Facebook, the Highland News Leader, the Belleville News Democrat, eBay, a Purple Wave auction or Craigslist.
Poppy Days announcement
Lee Iten Post 439 VFW Ladies Auxiliary president Linda Iberg made an announcement during the council meeting. She said that May 26 has officially been named National Poppy Day.
Iberg said that the poppy is the flower of remembrance and that the ladies auxiliary will be giving poppies away to remember veterans and their service. The group will be giving the poppies out over Memorial Day weekend and they ask anyone who receives a poppy to wear them to show they care,
Iberg presented Michaelis with the first poppy of the season and gave the rest of the council, as well as the large audience, a poppy.
Street Art Festival Square use request
The council approved a request from the Highland Chamber of Commerce concerning the annual Highland Street Art Festival.
Nancie Zobrist, the chamber’s executive director, addressed the council asking for road closures for the yearly event. The chamber requested the closings and use of the city square on Sept. 15 and 16, with a potential rain day Sept. 17.
Zobrist said that the chamber plans to use the same layout they have in the past, which means utilizing the Main, Washington and Laurel streets and the intersection at Main and Washington. The intersection at Laurel and Main will remain open to traffic so people can access the post office. The chamber requested that the streets surrounding the square be closed by 10 p.m. Sept. 15, and that the city sweeps and cleans the streets on Friday night so they can paint square templates at 6 a.m. Sept. 16.
The chamber also requested that if the rain date is not used that street barricades will be left up until 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 to ensure the safety of people still wanting to admire art where the festival was.
The festival will kick off Friday at 7 p.m. with a “Hops and Color” beer tasting, but full festival fun will begin Saturday. The public Saturday hours will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the chamber also requested the same times for Sept. 17 in case of rain.
During the event the chamber will also host a two-mile “Run for Color” at 4 p.m. Sept. 16. The chamber also requested the use of the run route. While they did not request a road closure, the chamber did reach out to request the help of the Highland-Pierron Fire Department, and they agreed to volunteer to help run traffic control. Zobrist said that the chamber chose the route because the roads are not normally busy and they hope the route will be safe for the runners. She said that the chamber wanted to be cognizant of the cost of having a police presence during the run.
New Type of Highland Liquor Licenses
Class A1 license will not permit the licensee to operate video gaming terminals upon the premises. Limit on number of licenses: 3. Annual fee: $500.
Class A2 license may permit the licensee to operate video gaming terminals upon the premises. Limit on number of licenses: 3. Annual fee: $500.
Class B Convenience stores licenses shall authorize the retail sale of alcoholic liquor, but not for consumption on the premises where sold; such sales to be made in the original package only. Such license shall allow the sale of foodstuffs solely incidental and complementary to the sale of alcoholic liquors. Limit on number of licenses: unlimited. Annual fee: $300.
Class C Grocery stores licenses shall authorize the retail sale of alcoholic liquor, but not for consumption on the premises where sold; such sales to be made in the original package only and the major business of the licensee shall be the sale of foodstuffs, and where such sale of alcoholic liquors is only incidental to such overall business. Limit on number of licenses: unlimited. Annual fee: $300.
Class D1 & D2 Restaurants licenses shall authorize the sale of alcoholic liquor of all varieties at retail for consumption on the premises in conjunction with the operation of a restaurant, as well as retail sale of alcoholic liquor in the original package off premises.
D1 license will not permit the licensee to operate video gaming terminals upon the premises. Limit on number of licenses: 8. Annual fee: $500.
D2 license may permit the licensee to operate video gaming terminals upon the premises. Limit on number of licenses: 10. Annual fee: $500.
Class E Club licenses shall authorize retail sale on the premises specified of alcoholic liquor of all varieties for consumption on the premises by members and guests. A Class E license may permit the licensee to operate video gaming terminals upon the premises. Annual fee: $500. Limit on number of licenses: unlimited. Annual fee: $500.
Class F BYOB/corking licenses shall authorize alcoholic liquor of all varieties for consumption on the premises as long as the alcoholic liquor is brought onto the premises by a guest, customer, invitee, caterer, retailer, etc. Limit on number of licenses: unlimited. Annual fee: $100.
Class G Gaming hall licenses may authorize retail sale on the premises specified of alcoholic liquor of all varieties for consumption on the premises where video gaming terminals are or will be displayed for play or operation. Class G licenses may permit the licensee to operate video gaming terminals upon the premises. Limit on number of licenses: 2. Annual fee: $500.
Class H1 & Class H2 Hotels licenses shall authorize the sale of alcoholic liquor of all varieties at retail for consumption on the premises in conjunction with the operation of a hotel.
H1 license will not permit the licensee to operate video gaming terminals upon the premises. Limit on number of licenses: unlimited. Annual fee: $500.
H2 license may permit the licensee to operate video gaming terminals upon the premises. Limit on number of licenses: 1. Annual fee: $500.