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Zoning Controversy Along St. Charles Main Street

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There is controversy along St. Charles Main Street as merchants rally against a business owners’ expansion plans.

The owner of Heart of St. Charles wants to expand her presence in St. Charles, Missouri.

In addition to being right off Interstate 70, the banquet facility wants to rehab an old building on Main Street and make it into a chapel and a small intimate meeting facility.

But the merchants on the block are speaking out, saying that it would draw intoxicated patrons to the area and hurt business and property values.

The St. Charles Planning and Zoning Commission is considering a proposal that would amend the zoning laws to allow a banquet center on Main Street.

The proposal came to light after the Heart of St. Charles submitted a plan to rehab a small stone building that's been vacant for nearly 15 years at the south end of Main Street.

Sherri Steffans says she wants to keep the historic integrity of St. Charles, while offering brides and families more options for intimate gatherings.

Steffans also wants to build a second small meeting facility across the street from the rehab. She has a contract on both properties but is running into road blocks.

Many merchants don't like the idea. They are worried that it would bring trouble into the area.

Planning and Zoning Commissioners are meeting with merchants before making a decision. If it decides to rezone the area and give the green light to the Heart of St. Charles, the city council would still have to vote on the final plan.