St. Joseph, Illinois




April 19, 2012




                                      Palmer                  Present

                                        Monk                    Present                         

McElwee              Present

                                        Gudenrath            Absent

                                        Dillman                 Present

                                         Hitt                       Present

                                        Woods                  Present


Others in attendance – Tiffany McElroy-Smetzer, Village Clerk; Joe Lierman, Village Attorney; Nora Mayberry, The Leader; and Matt and Karla Cooper, Lowell Suits, Ethan Stites, Tony and Jessie Heckenmueller, Kam Myers, Jake Myers, Caleb Lyons, Daniel Elbon, Kevin Martlage, Richard and Barbara Leisure, Jonathon Myers, Stefan Lowry, Jon Mills, Brian Wetzer, Brian Maroon, Kirby Poff, and Julius Cook.


The first item up for consideration is a request by Lowell Suits for a zoning variance to reduce his side yard setback to three feet on the west side of the lot located on the northwest corner of Briarcliff Drive and Main Street (204 E. Briarcliff). 


Suits explained his desire to have a building to store his boat.  He will not be attaching the building to the garage as the power for the residence is in that area.  He stated that it will have sided and match his residence.  Suits noted that corner lots are penalized space wise as there is a 30 foot setback on 2 sides


Three of Suits’ neighbors stated that they had no problem with Suits’ plan to put up the building and feel that anything he will do it nicely.  They are Brian Maroon his neighbor across the street to the south, John Mills his neighbor to the north, and Brian Wetzel his neighbor to the west.


Monk motioned and Hitt seconded to recommend to the Village Board that Suits’ zoning variance be approved.  Roll call vote was taken:  Monk – Aye, Woods – Aye, Palmer – Aye, Hitt – Aye, Dillman – Aye, and McElwee – Aye.  Motion passed 6-0.


Next item up for discussion is the proposed text amendment to the Village of St. Joseph Zoning Code to provide Special Uses for non-conforming properties in the Commercial Districts and Residential Specifics in the attached notice.  Also in the proposed text amendments is a time period for nonconforming uses. 


Brief discussion took place.  Hitt motioned and Monk seconded to recommend to the Village Board to accept the changes to the Zoning Code text as presented.  Roll call vote was taken:  Woods – Aye, Palmer – Aye, Hitt – Aye, Dillman –Aye, McElwee – Aye, and Monk – Aye.  Motion passed 6-0.


At 7:15 Jamie Hitt excused herself from the meeting. 


Palmer then called the third item up for consideration by the Board a petition by Jake Myers, requesting special use permit for an outdoor recreational facility (paintball park) for the property generally described as located on the north side of US Route 150 at the west Village limits. 


Jake Myers gave a brief presentation of what he is planning regarding the paint ball facility. 


Coopers spoke about their concerns.  They include the fact that the driveway is a single lane, there are safety issues, and they feel that it would be disruptive to the wildlife.  They stated that this is their home, the noise and congestion would be very distracting. 


Julius Cook spoke regarding ownership of the driveway.  His attorney feels that the property is his. There was discussion back and forth.  Lierman requested that the Coopers and the Julius Cook to have their attorneys provide Lierman with their opinion and their reason for. 



Myers noted that he had sent a notice to the Board from IDOT regarding the access to 150.  The e-mail stated that the existing entrance located on the north side of Route 150 could be utilized for access to the paintball sites.  It also noted that no changes (dimensions or location) could be made to this access except for maintenance without an IDOT permit.   


Kirby Poff spoke the benefits of having a wholesome activity for the youth of St. Joseph nearby.  He and his family have done paintball for many years and never experienced any injuries. 


Coopers expressed concern with the disturbance of the flood plain.  Myers stated that he is cognizant of the limitations in the flood plain and is being very careful to meet all requirements. 

Woods questioned how the area will look from Route 150.  Myers noted that he wanted the business to look professional as it he also caters to businesses looking for retreats and team building. It will look nice.


Coopers again expressed concerns regarding congestion.  They also noted the high possibility of an accident due to the location and angle of the entrance as well as stormwater issues.   


Myers noted that he has a turn-around built in to the site.  He is very aware of the Stormwater issues. 


Stites stated that he is a member of the U of I ROTC and they frequently use the paintball park at its former location for team building activities. 


Barbara Leisure noted that she is very concerned regarding the safety of the driveway.


Monk motioned and Dillman seconded to recommend that the Village approve the zoning request.  Roll call vote was taken:  Dillman – Aye, McElwee – Aye, Woods – Aye, Monk – Aye, and Palmer – Nay.  Motion passed 4-1.



McElroy-Smetzer told the Zoning Board Members that the recommendations of tonight’s meeting would be passed on to the Village Board and that they could be voting on the issue Tuesday, April 24, 2012 or a following meeting.


These minutes are respectfully submitted.





Tiffany McElroy-Smetzer

Village Clerk

Date:  March 18, 2010