O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon bans cannabis sales effective Jan. 1

As expected, O’Fallon has banned cannabis sales in the city limits when recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state Jan. 1.

The prohibition ordinance, approved by the O’Fallon City Council on Monday, declares cannabis establishments a public nuisance. The Illinois Municipal League recommended cities opposed to recreational cannabis sales enact legislation by Oct. 1 — the first date people can submit applications for dispensaries.

It can be amended if the city puts an advisory referendum on a 2020 election ballot, and if voters are overwhelmingly favorable, the council could reconsider to allow business establishments.

Therefore, the addition of a sunset provision, which means it could be void six months after an advisory vote, would be certified. But as a council can pass any ordinance, if down the road they want to repeal it for any reason, they can.

No word yet on the advisory referendum, but the council has until Dec. 16 to be on the March 17 primary election ballot. A resolution must be passed at least 79 days prior to the election.

One Ward 7 resident, Mae Brown, spoke in favor of the ban during her allotted time in public comments. A former resident of Chicago, Brown said she said she does not want drugs in her town, and she is proud to be a resident of O’Fallon. A 23-year veteran of the military, she talked about Scott AFB’s impact on the community. She thought the city’s “slow and steady approach” was the best way to deal with the new state law.

The new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act allows local communities to adopt and enforce ordinances regulating possession and public consumption of cannabis for adults age 21 or older. Illinois is the 11th state to legalize recreational use.

Updates on The Shops at Richland Creek, Rainstorm Subdivision

In other action, the council advanced two final plats for projects that have been in the works through the city planning channels for a long time: The Shops at Richland Creek and the Rainstorm Subdivision, which is tied to a car wash. Final approval is set for Oct. 7.

Rusty Modesty of EROP proposed the Rainstorm Subdivision, consisting of three commercial lots on 5.46 acres. It will include a new 3,450 square foot tunnel car wash with 12 vacuum stations and the potential for a 31,200 square feet of future office use at the northwest corner of Frank Scott Parkway and Hartman Lane.

Franklin Land Associates proposed eight commercial lots on 17.21 acres, a mixed-use development known as The Shops at Richland Creek, located on the corner of Green Mount Road and Central Park Drive, extending south to include frontage on Frank Scott Parkway.

The initial phase includes three buildings, totaling 17,800 square feet of retail/restaurant development on Lot 1 (3.44-acre proposed parcel). The remaining lots would be for various other retail, hospitality and service type uses.

The proposed final plat is consistent with the approved preliminary plat and improvement plans. There are a few clean-up items that will need to be revised on the final improvement plans prior to recording the plat.

Additional revenues from sales tax and property tax are expected from both developments.

Additional council nuggets

The council also advanced a rezoning request for a development known as “The 811 Office Building.” David Wittenauer of RE Investment requests approval of a planned use for 811 W. U.S. 50, which consists of a 1.69-acre parcel of land located just west of the intersection of U.S. 50 and Green Mount Road. Plans are for a multi-tenant office building that would be 25,245 square feet and 1 story with a lower level associated parking, and landscaping.

The staff recommends cross-access to the east property shall remain and be constructed as shown on the preliminary site plan, and that trees along U.S. 50 on private land shall be required, utilizing a smaller tree type to avoid conflicts with overhead utilities.

An annexation agreement was approved for Haig and Regina Ohanian for 5.14 acres located at 1304 Fiveacre Court, which is currently zoned agricultural in St. Clair County. Upon annexation, it will be changed to rural residential district. A public hearing was held without anyone objecting.

Because there are already two requests in October for roadblocks, the Lions Club of O’Fallon/Fairview Heights may not be allowed to conduct one from 7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, but it was approved with Mayor Herb Roach breaking a 7-7 tie. That will still be contingent on the monthly rule, and the Lions may have to move it. Aldermen Kevin Hagarty, Matt Gilreath, Jerry Albrecht, Todd Roach, Tom Vorce, Dan Witt and Nathan Parchman voted against the roadblock.

Several residents spoke regarding storm sewer drainage concerns.

“Let’s not forget our storm water,” Chris Hoff said, mentioning retention pond issues in his neighborhood.

Frank Morski, a former alderman, brought up speeding vehicles on Colleen, and there are 20 children under age 12 on the street. He mentioned this in light of a young girl being struck that morning riding a bike to Estelle Kampmeyer School. Another resident, Matt Maluso, brought up the school incident hoping some safety measures will be put in place.

The mayor’s Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 28, at city hall.

St. Clare Octoberfest is Saturday, Sept. 28, on Third Street between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street.