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DeKalb City Council OKs video gaming relocation, special use permit

DeKALB – A local video gaming establishment is set to relocate to a building near where a car rental business and tarot reader once stood off of Illinois Route 23 in DeKalb.

DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas said the approval has been vetted by city planning and zoning officials for the special use permit request from Randi Hoffstead, owner of CJ’s Gaming, for a video gaming establishment on the entire first floor at 2022 Sycamore Road. He said staff recommended approval on multiple conditions.

“One of which was to provide a handicap sign next to the handicapped parking space and also trash dumpster enclosure with a 6 foot high … fence,” Nicklas said.

The DeKalb City Council voted, 8-0, to approve the proposal during the council’s Monday meeting. City officials wrote in meeting documents a special use permit is needed for a video gaming business, since the proposed new location is zoned in the city’s general commercial district.

“The Municipal Code (Chapter 38 – Intoxicating Liquors) has a limit of 10 stand-alone video gaming establishments,” city officials wrote. “However, CJ’s is re-locating so there is no need for the City Council to consider amending the Municipal Code.”

The floor plan for the about 1,800 square foot proposed new location would include six video gaming machines, a kitchen, drinks bar, snack bar and seating area, per city documents.

CJ’s Gaming is currently located at 1406 Sycamore Road. City officials wrote in meeting documents the business is planning to move to the proposed new stand-alone location by January 2021.

The closest video gaming establishment from the proposed new location for CJ’s is Lucky Poker, 1812 Sycamore Road, which is about 1,125 feet away, according to city officials. That meets development requirements of a minimum distance of 500 feet between video gaming establishments, city officials wrote.

The video gaming business would share a parking lot with the building at 2020 Sycamore Road, which formerly contained a Hertz car rental business, according to city documents. Nicklas also said during the Monday meeting a tarot card reader also set up shop at the location at one point.

CJ’s Gaming had the largest net terminal income – $289,526.51 – of any video gaming establishment in DeKalb from January 2020 to September 2020, according to the Illinois Gaming Board website.

“It would not prevent development, would not impact adjacent existent and future land uses [and] would not impact property values, public safety, health and welfare,” Hoffstead wrote in an Oct. 12 special use permit petition to the city.

City officials did not recommend additional restrictions on hours or signage for the proposed location of CJ’s based on the location along the Sycamore Road commercial corridor. There also had been no opposition from the public so far regarding the proposal, according to meeting documents.

The city’s planning and zoning commission unanimously recommended approval for the proposed special use permit during their Nov. 2 meeting, according to city documents.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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