ST. CHARLES – Aldermen on Monday night made it clear that their reservations about allowing a drive-thru liquor store have nothing to do with the applicant.
“If you were the king and queen I’d still vote no,” 4th Ward Alderman Jo Krieger told David and Julie Lundeen of Lundeen’s Liquors.
The Lundeens are asking the city of St. Charles for permission to have a drive-up window at a new express location, 1315 W. Main St., St. Charles.
The Government Operations Committee discussed the issue Monday, three weeks after the Liquor Control Commission debated the topic.
Aldermen – who have been wrestling with liquor license issues for the past year – said they are struggling with the perception of potentially being the first community in the Tri-Cities allowing such a business model.
“I don’t think the timing is right for us right now,” 2nd Ward Alderman Rita Payleitner said.
Julie Lundeen said she doesn’t understand the perception that people will get liquor faster if they are in a car. Either way, she said, the liquor will end up in a car.
She noted Lundeen’s has collected 600 signatures from residents in support of a drive-thru window on West Main Street.
“Why can’t we give them a service they want?” she asked.
Third Ward Alderman Todd Bancroft said he couldn’t decide on Lundeen’s request until an ordinance was developed to address drive-up services for alcohol.
“To me,” he said, “it comes down to what does that ordinance look like, because a yes or no right now seems premature.”
First Ward Alderman Dan Stellato also advocated for a new ordinance to address the issue instead of simply deleting section Q, current language that prohibits curb and drive-thru liquor service.
“I’m very disappointed all we’re doing is removing Q,” he said.
In a split vote, the committee directed staff to draft an ordinance for a drive-up liquor service. Payleitner, Krieger, 4th Ward Alderman Jim Martin and 5th Ward Alderman Maureen Lewis voted no.