The proposed beer garden on Elm Street is a bad idea. Not because I am against beer or business but because it will border residences. It will upset the lives of the neighboring houses on Elm St. and West St. forever. I know. I live across the street from the Wine Bar on McEwen St. Not until legal judgment and fines were given to them, after over a year of battling against them, did they comply. Everything is set up in the Village so that citizens can only have their voices heard AFTER violations occur. There is no way for proactive steps to be taken by the Village to prevent such disturbances of the peace.
Going through this process has made it clear that there is no mechanism for non-business-based citizen’s voices to be considered in decisions of new business development. Once a business is proposed, the Planning Committee can only rule on it if the buildings are up to code. There is NO body or mechanism to assess if the business is a good idea for the community that lives next to it.
There is an Architectural Review Board to make sure the buildings fit in with the character of the Village. But there is no mechanism to rule if the business will negatively affect the neighbors or the Village as a whole. This is a problem.
For that reason, I am against this beer garden and request that Michael Newhard and the Village Board create a legal mechanism for the Village to assess and decide on a business’ impact on the neighbors before it can go forward. That is what you are hired to do; to represent all citizens, not just the business citizens. Signage is important and building code is important but a more important concern is the daily quality of life. And the quality of life will be greatly upset by a beer garden on Elm St., making the lives of the people on Elm St. and West St. quite miserable for a long time. Please, Mr. Mayor, we need your leadership.