Will council vote different now that the election is over?

By: Diane Benjamin

This will be the first meeting with nobody representing taxpayers. Andy Byars replaces Stan Nord.


Remember when Dan Brady and Rodney Davis rented a building in Uptown for $1? https://blnnews.com/2021/05/03/normal-subsidies-brady-and-davis/

That was 104 North St. The documentation for tonight claims that building will soon be unavailable due to development. Darin Lahood requested space in Uptown for a District Office. The Town wants to rent the mural building at 108 E Beaufort and charge him $1,250 a month. Tenants are supposed to pay property taxes, but then Brady/Davis didn’t and the docs don’t say LaHood will.

Will somebody ask why LaHood is being charged more than Rodney Davis who held the same job? It would have to be pulled from the Consent Agenda. I don’t want to hear LaHood has an allowance for offices, Davis did too.

High Haven is back on the agenda. They made some modifications – see PDF page 82. The last time only Chemberly Harris voted yes. It’s still a bad location with heavy traffic that will be made worse. I can’t wait to see who changes their mind tonight.

A speaker for High Haven claimed at the February meeting their application had to have a site secured by March 19th or they risk losing the license, evidently that didn’t happen: See 50:00 https://blnnews.com/2023/02/07/council-votes-against-high-haven-location/

The Council will also be asked to approve a dispensary at 1609 Northbrook Dr. See PDF page 141. Staff doesn’t think this location will have an adverse effect on the surrounding area.

Has staff noticed the old Biaggi’s building right in a PRIME location on Veterans Parkway is still empty? Maybe businesses don’t want to locate next to a high traffic dispensary?

Zoning Board of Appeals thinks this location will have a negative impact – PDF page 175:

Staff of course wants both locations approved. Public Comment was lengthy at the February meeting. Will it be tonight with TWO locations on the agenda?

The only thing staff sees:

6 thoughts on “Will council vote different now that the election is over?

  1. What investment in Trail West? The last I heard the company considering Trail West development dropped their consideration as well as in Trail East. Recall the Town took over two properties for Trail East several years ago and each has remained empty. Chicago Dogs was the only one intelligent enough not to abandon their location thereby generating taxes for Normal. Approximately 14 developed properties are currently vacant in Uptown. Any property that is filled will bring in an employee or more as well as some traffic. Uptown Gifts is gone and so is Beyond Normal, Beyond Normal moved to a location beyond Normal, Lexington I believe. They have been replaced by a dance studio who’s parents double park while waiting for their children to depart after their dance class and a vape/smoke shop.

    One suggestion, the Town should promote the 2 abandoned bank branches to drive thru restaurants. People could pay via the pneumatic tubes and have their food blown out to their vehicles in a round plastic container. It would be especially good for subs, hot dogs, and brats!

  2. I wouldn’t have a problem if the pot tax went to fixing the terrible roads. Unfortunately it is dumped in the general fund and is spent on the underpass and more things we don’t need. Meanwhile, the other taxes will continue to climb.

  3. Belle Tire is moving into the Biaggis location with some obvious reconstruction happening as there is a “coming soon” sign. Should there be more concern with the former Lone Star Steakhouse which has been empty longer….

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