St. Charles aldermen reject plans for gas station on East Main Street

The majority of St. Charles aldermen do not believe that the site of a former bank building on St. Charles’ east side is the best location for a Casey’s General Store and gas station.

At the St. Charles City Council’s Planning and Development Committee meeting Oct. 11, the majority of aldermen recommended not approving the plans. Plans call for the bank building at 2600 E. Main St. to be razed and a 4,600-square-foot convenience store to be built as part of the project, which also would include a gas station with eight fuel pumps (16 fuel positions). Casey’s sells made-from-scratch pizza and is the fifth-largest pizza chain in the U.S.

The property is adjacent to the Foxfield Commons shopping center. Casey’s would need to obtain a special-use permit to build a gas station at the location.

“This property is located within a planned use development (PUD) that does not allow gas stations, but the underlying zoning does allow for gas stations,” city planner Rachel Hitzemann previously had told aldermen. “So the special use would be to allow the gas station use in the PUD.”

Last month, St. Charles plan commissioners voiced concerns about whether the proposed gas station would align with the city’s comprehensive plan, which calls for a diversity of businesses along the Main Street/Route 64 corridor. They noted that two other large gas stations near the site recently were approved.

However, commissioners unanimously recommended approval of the plans.

Earlier this year, 2nd Ward Alderman Rita Payleitner had voiced concerns about the impact that electric cars will have on gas stations.

“In the last six months, auto manufacturers have made very public their e-car projections,” she said. “And there’s all kinds of speculation in Forbes and other magazines that are predicting your typical gas stations will become maybe not obsolete but certainly the need for them will be greatly diminished. What happens when the tide turns? Is there a plan for repurposing this property? What will that take? That’s my concern.”

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.