Huntley eases permit process for new restaurants in parts of Route 47, downtown areas

Drive-thrus still will need a public hearing

Work continues Wednesday, June 7, 2023, to finish the new building at 11808 Coral St. in Huntley. The building is mixed use with retail and restaurant space on the first floor and residential space on the upper floors.

Prospective sit-down restaurants in Huntley’s B2 zoning area, which covers much of downtown and parts of the Route 47 corridor, will have an easier approval process going forward.

Director of Development Services Charlie Nordman told the Village Board that the change is “simplifying the ability for a restaurant to open in the B2 district.”

The change got the thumbs-up from the board, which means that restaurants now are a permitted use in the business district and won’t need to go through a public hearing.

Previously, restaurants would have had to get a special-use permit, and a public hearing was part of the approval process. New buildings still would need to get a site review or planned unit development approval, according to village documents.

Taverns and drive-thrus still will need to go through the special-use permit process, as they are special uses, according to village documents.

Nordman said the change is an “attempt to [attract] additional public and private investment in the heart of the village” and increase the diversity of dining options in the zoning district.

Nordman said the process means restaurants will apply for a building permit, get it and make any changes they need to before opening their doors.

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