Bike shop run off road?

Bike shop run off road?

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Sam Abruzzo has a small bicycle sales and repair shop at 2412 N. Main St. On Feb. 5, the city closed him down. Abruzzo was baffled by that development.

He had moved his little shop in July 1999 from a location next door. There he had obtained commercial zoning for the business.

Now he was in a single family house in an area zoned light industrial. He asked the city for a special use permit. That’s where the confusion began for Abruzzo. He believed the permit was approved by the City Council on Nov. 26. He was stunned when he got a letter from the city at the end of January telling him he must shut down.

Ald. John Beck, R-12, said Abruzzo didn’t do his homework. Beck said the permit was not okayed and was denied by the zoning board. “He didn’t investigate the legalities,” Beck said. “We had a lot of complaints from the neighborhood.”

Todd Cagnoni, city zoning officer, said Abruzzo did apply for a special use permit, but not all the provisions were approved.

“Sam was an asset to the neighborhood at his former location,” Cagnoni said. “Unfortunately, he’s no longer at that location. The present site has a few more restraints,” he said.

Part of the city’s concern revolved around access to Abruzzo’s property and provisions for parking. Abruzzo said he had an arrangement with Ingersoll Milling Machine Co. to use a small part of its parking lot for his customers. He said most of his patrons came and went on bicycles.

The city said there is more to it than that and, since Main Street is a state highway, the Illinois Department of Transportation must be consulted.

But the entire matter seems headed for resolution. “I have been in conversation with his attorney,” Cagnoni said. The two are attempting to work out a home occupation license for Abruzzo. It will let him repair bikes but not make sales of new equipment.

“We’re trying to reach an agreement that will meet Sam’s needs and the requirements of the city as well,” Cagnoni said.

Beck commented: “Our goal is to address the problems, but Sam’s got to work within the rules.”

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