by Cheryl Borrowdale
SUGAR GROVE—A new wine shop may be coming to Sugar Grove, following the Sugar Grove Village Board’s 5-0 approval of a special use permit, a liquor license and several zoning variances for 34 Terry Drive.
Wine in the Grove, a business proposed by Sugar Grove residents Gayle Deja-Schultz and Carl Schultz, would sell wine and other specialty food items, offer wine and beer service in the store and on its patio, and host wine tastings and other events. Deja-Schultz said the patio would likely have six tables with umbrellas for shade.
The board hammered out the variances and permits with Deja-Schultz for nearly an hour, issuing a liquor license and discussing requirements for parking, patio size, fencing and landscaping.
The shop, which will be located in the same building as Rocky’s Dojo and Gym, will have a 20-foot patio that faces the entrance ramp to Route 56, equipped with an ADA-accessible ramp. In order to accommodate the ramp and maximize patio space, the board granted Deja-Schultz a setback variance that allows the shop to have a three-foot setback from the property line instead of the standard five-foot setback. They also specified the types of landscaping and fencing board members thought were necessary to make the high-visibility area attractive.
Parking was the largest concern for some members of the board, who noted that the 48-person capacity of Wine in the Grove called for an additional 19-20 parking spots in the attached lot according to zoning regulations, but that Deja-Schultz was requesting to have zero additional parking spaces.
“The common sense of it is, there really is enough parking there,” Deja-Schultz said. “I think the parking on that building is more than adequate.”
Although the nearby Old Second Bank agreed to allow Wine in the Grove to use 10 spaces when necessary, Deja-Schultz said that paying for the liability insurance for those spaces was a “deal breaker.”
“I would love to bankroll a $100,000 business, but it’s getting to the point where a small business owner (can’t make it),” Deja-Schultz said.
Ron Troutman, owner of the building, said that he thought the additional spaces were unnecessary because in nearly 30 years, he has never seen the parking lot full.
“I’ve got other people wanting that unit there. I’ve got an astrologer, two psychics. I’d rather have the wine shop. You know, Jesus comes back and he likes wine, he turned water into wine,” Troutman told the board. “I’ve been retired for 12 years, and I’m there every day, and parking has never been a problem.”
Trustee Thomas Renk said that he was reluctant to grant a zero parking space variance because the board’s responsibility is to protect all involved, including the property owner.
“I don’t want to handicap you in terms of what you would be able to bring in with future businesses,” Renk told Troutman.
“We’re also trying to protect the tenants and anyone else who would move into that vacant storefront,” Village President Sean Michels said.
Trustee Mari Johnson proposed writing a contingency plan into the parking variance that would allow the village to require Deja-Schultz to expand parking capacity or enter into the agreement with Old Second Bank at anytime, if the village determines that additional parking is needed.
Board members voted 5-0 to approve the parking variance with the contingency plan.