Updates to the City’s Liquor, Tobacco and Massage Licensing

Over the past few months the St. Charles Police Department, along with City staff and legal counsel, have worked to refine provisions in the city code regarding establishments that offer liquor, tobacco or massage services. A summary is below.

 Liquor

It is through collaboration and cooperation that we provide a safe and inviting social experience to those who patronize St. Charles and its establishments.

Our primary goal is make our community a ‘destination point” for residents, visitors and business owners alike.

The revision recommendations of the codes and ordinances you will see today are a reflection of these efforts. We want to be firm but fair in not only codifying our ordinances, but also enforcing them. We hope to accomplish the following goals:

  • Clean up some inconsistent ordinance language.
  • Provide clearer direction and definitions of outdated language and practices.

Follow industry standards and best practices in regards to our rules and regulations pertaining to the issuing of licenses, the will be enforcement of code regulations and the stance of “zero tolerance” to certain violations of our liquor ordinances. Specifically, you will see fine increase recommendations for fighting in public, public urination and intoxication and any violation pertaining to underage consumption/possession of alcohol.

Tobacco

As part of both the City and Police Department’s efforts to improve and enhance both compliance and accountability of tobacco retailers, a new ordinance was approved and implemented. Highlights include:

  • The merger of tobacco oversight within the Liquor Commission
  • Consolidation of alternative nicotine products within the ordinance
  • Licensee accountability and a new license structure

These will solidify our ordinances and City Code and provide both the City and Police Department a more defined tobacco and alternative nicotine products review process.

Massage

City staff worked with legal counsel in developing language for an ordinance to implement massage business licensing. City Code 5.20 – “Massage Establishments” is now a reality.

The key points in this ordinance are as follows:

  • An application process has been defined. Licensing and application fees have been recommended at $250.00, with an additional $50 charge for fingerprinting.
  • Licensing restrictions include what is/isn’t allowed within the City.
  • Establishment conditions, rules and regulations; inspections through Code Enforcement and the Police Department are part of this ordinance.
  • Due process for license violations through the local Liquor Commissioner/Commission, including revocations, suspensions, and fines.
  • Exemptions are in place for certain licensing requirements.

Mark Koenen is City Administrator of the City of St. Charles, Illinois. He can be reached at mkoenen@stcharlesil.gov.