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Sugar Grove panel gives green light to banquet halls in town

A panel charged with advising the Sugar Grove Village Board of Trustees gave a positive recommendation of a proposed zoning definition and set of regulations for banquet halls.

The topic was discussed during a March 4 special meeting of the Sugar Grove Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.

According to the village’s proposed definition, a banquet hall is defined as “an establishment, the principal use of which is to serve food and beverages to groups that have reserved the establishment’s facility or facilities before the day of the event, for banquets, meetings, weddings, and other similar functions, for the group’s members and any guests of the groups’ members, to which the general public is not admitted.”

It further stipulates that “a general admission fee or any other monetary donations (payment at the door to the general public) for entrance is prohibited, with the exception of fundraisers or events for bona fide non-profit organizations, places of worship, fraternal organizations or educational facilities.”

The panel’s recommendation could prompt the village to allow banquet halls as a permitted use or special use within the village’s B-3 Regional Business District or M-1 Limited Manufacturing District.

The village does not currently have banquet halls, but officials said they’ve received a request to set up an establishment in town.

Panel member James White asked if additional standards could be applied to specific uses.

Walter Magdziarz, community development director for the village, said they could be imposed by the village’s zoning administrator.

The proposed additional standards for specific uses would, among other things, prohibit banquet hall activities between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., limit all events to be held within a completely enclosed building and disallow carry-out service to the general public.

The village board had reviewed the panel’s draft proposal regarding banquet halls.

“The trustees brought up some areas of concern,” Magdziarz said. “They thought the draft that was presented to them was a little too harsh and restrictive, and they wanted a little more flexibility.”

Magdziarz said outdoor events could be allowable, so long as the zoning administrator gives authorization provided the premises is not located within 600 feet of a residential lot.

Panel members Rebecca Sabo and Jim Eckert raised questions about banquet halls and the idea of the village issuing liquor licenses.

Magdziarz said the village board would need to establish a special liquor license for establishments of this type.

The village board will have the final say at its March 17 meeting in determining if and where banquet halls are allowed in town.


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