Administrator Podgorski requests “business license amendment” to Ordinance 13-10
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (August 22, 2018) – An ordinance that was adopted in 2013 limits the number of certain types of businesses that can be granted a license within the Village of Lansing. Specifically, that ordinance reads:
The following business licenses shall be limited in the number of such licenses issued within the village:
1. Pay day loan stores . . . 3
2. Dry cleaners . . . 6
3. Nail salons . . . 8
4. Hair salons . . . 27
5. Barbershops . . . 5
6. Secondhand dealers (not including jewelers) . . . 2
7. Consignment/resale/shop/thrift shop (not including antique dealers) . . . 3
8. Tattoo shops . . . 1
9. Massage parlors . . . 3
10. Child day care centers . . . 25
11. Banks and financial institutions . . . 13
At the August 21 Committee of the Whole meeting, the subject of amending this ordinance came up as part of Trustee Brian Hardy’s Building and Economic Development report, and Administrator Dan Podgorski said that removing this restriction would “help him fill a building” that a potential business owner with salon experience is interested in.
Podgorski explained that the requester has experience in the salon and personal care services industry, and she would like to set up a business as “business incubator” or business suite for hair stylists who are just starting out. Currently, all hair salon, nail salon, barbershop, and day care licenses are in use.
Trustee Hardy was in favor of the business suite model.
Trustee Maureen Grady-Perovich expressed support of the business suite model, but wondered why it might be necessary to change this particular ordinance in order to have a business suite in Lansing. And she expressed concern about the impact that changing the ordinance might have on existing businesses. “I’ve seen these [business suites used by] mortgage companies, accounting firms, and financial businesses that need a professional space to meet with their clients,” she said at the meeting. “…But I’ve never seen a beauty salon or a massage parlor in any of these suites. It concerns me that we may flood our area with individual beauty chairs all over town when we have our own beauty shops and barbershops that are always trying to stay open.”
In an interview after the meeting, local salon owner Kris O’Connor confirmed that concern. “It could put us out of business,” she said. “We have enough salons who are looking for help already. Every salon has a Help Wanted or a Booth Rental sign. There’s already plenty of room for hair dressers who are starting out.” O’Connor owns Classy Cuts Salon at 3365 Ridge Road and has been advertising for additional stylists since she opened in 2016. “I have four chairs open—if anyone wants to rent space, tell them to come on in!”
Grady-Perovich also asked for input from some of the longer-term Board members about the reasoning behind enacting Ordinance 13-10 in the first place.
“The concern was about the massage parlors, the tattoo parlors and stuff like that,” said Trustee Tony Delaurentis. “Not beauty shops.”
Grady-Perovich, referring to a printed copy of the ordinance in question, affirmed that hair salons and nail salons were indeed included. She wondered if restrictions were put on such service entities because they pay sales tax only on products they sell, such as nail polish and shampoo, so the revenue they contribute to the Village is limited.
Minutes from the March 5, 2013, Board meeting explain simply that “…this ordinance ensures that we have a good mix of businesses, both retail and service, for our residents.”
Though much of the conversation centered on the business suites model and its potential benefits, there are currently no ordinances restricting business suites or professional suites from opening in Lansing. In fact, Lansing already has professional buildings as part of its business mix—the Clock Tower Plaza (3330 181st Place) is one example; the Walker Building (18225 Burnham Avenue) is another.
Podgorski makes a distinction between professional office buildings such as Clock Tower and professional suites: “The professional suite concept features smaller individual suites approximately 100–200 square feet in size. This is the most significant difference. Offices in professional office buildings are larger than that.”
Podgorski’s August 17 memo to the Village Board proposed, “…to amend Section 16-47 of the code of ordinances, and exempt business owners that operate within the confines of a professional suite from the business license limits on licenses found in this section.”
Trustees have two weeks to consider the advantages and disadvantages of allowing current or new professional suites to disregard the limits set forth in Ordinance 13-10. Changes may be voted on at the September 4 Board meeting.
Residents and business owners who want to express opinions about this proposed change (or other municipal matters) are invited to contact their representatives directly:
- Email Mayor Patty Eidam, or call 708-895-7208
- Email Administrator Podgorski, or call 708-895-7202
- Email Trustee Brian Hardy, or call 708-832-4564
- Email Trustee Maureen Grady-Perovich, or call 708-832-4563
- Email Trustee Tony Delaurentis, or call 708-832-4569
- Email Trustee Jerry Zeldenrust, or call 708-832-4570
- Email Trustee Mike Manno, or call 708-832-4566
- Email Trustee Mike Skrbina, or call 708-832-4568
Village Board meetings and Committee of the Whole meetings take place at the Municipal Court Complex (the police station) at 2710 170th Street on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 4, at 7:00pm.