Batavia City Council approves annexation of Moose Lodge from Mooseheart

Moose lodges will become tobacco-free beginning Jan. 1. Seen here is the Mooseheart campus near Batavia.

The Batavia City Council voted July 3 to annex the Moose Lodge near Route 31 from the Mooseheart Child City and School property.

Documents showed the property, located at 1535 S. Batavia Ave., originally was set to be annexed by the city in 1995.

Community and Economic Development Director Scott Buening said the agreement will allow the lodge to retain six video gambling cabinets among other allowances.

“This contains some things that are not standard to the unusual situation with the property,” Buening said. “They would also be entitled to continue to have the six gaming terminals that they have under the county regulations. The city allows only five, but based on the terms of the agreement, they would be allowed to have up to six during the term of the annexation agreement, which is 20 years.

“[Allowances] do include rezoning of the property into a public facility institutional district that allows the existing parking situation to continue. It allows them to connect to all city facilities upon redevelopment of the property or expansion of the property,” Buening said.

Documents showed the lodge also will be granted an E-1 Church and Club liquor license.

The lodge agreed to extend the sidewalk along the north side of Millview to Batavia Avenue and dedicate 40 feet from the center line of right of way for Batavia Avenue upon further development of the property, according to city documents.

The lodge will agree to handle zoning entitlement and fee requirements if developments are proposed, according to city documents.

The playing field at the west end of the property will be annexed, according to city documents.

“If the park district wants to build a recreation center, I can’t think of a better place to have it than right across from the high school,” Batavia Mayor Jeffery Schielke said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunities Mooseheart has given us.”

Aldermen Mark Uher, Abby Beck and Tony Malay voted against the annexation, with Uher citing the inclusion of gambling machines.

“The only thing I disagree with [in] this is the gaming,” Uher said. “Everyone knows my stance on gaming.”

The property is connected to city water and power utilities and the field is on city power, according to city documents.