DANVILLE — Danville City Council members Tuesday night approved amending the city's zoning ordinance and map to approve a special-use permit for a gun shop in the city, but a couple of the aldermen had serious concerns.
Ward 5 Alderman Tom Stone said he had a problem with voting in favor of of the plan with all the problems the city has with gun violence and having homicide victims' families and friends attending city council meetings asking aldermen to do something to curb it.
This was a chance for him to do something, Stone said, by not allowing guns to be more accessible. He said he's never owned a gun nor wants to.
Ward 1 Alderwoman Brenda Brown said she had concerns, too.
"Where we're at now with this gun violence is outrageous," she said, also adding about mental health issues in the community.
Ward 6 Alderman Aaron Troglia asked where else guns are sold. He received replies of Stock and Field, BFF Firearms on College Street, Dunham's Sports and Ray O'Herron Co., three of which already are on North Vermilion Street.
Ward 7 Alderman Steve Foster said one more gun shop isn't the issue.
The council voted 9-2, with Stone and Brown voting against the proposal, Ward 3 Alderman R. J. Davis voting "present" and aldermen Dan Duncheon and Robert Williams absent, to approve Gregory Hoover's request to operate at 3803 N. Vermilion St. next to Chuckin’ Clouds Vape Shop and zoned B2 highway business, Greg's Gun Gallery, a retail gun shop/specialty goods store.
The council also approved by an 11-1 vote, with Davis voting against it, a special-use permit for Green Growth Group Inc. of Chicago for property at 202-204 Eastgate Drive, zoned I2 general industrial, to operate a medicinal/adult-use cannabis cultivation center; and by a 12-0 voted for a special-use permit for Garrett and Heather Pierce to operate a bar/tavern/nightclub at 127 N. Walnut St., the former Habitat ReStore building, zoned B4 general business.
Also Tuesday, council members approved a $915,984 contract with Champaign Signal and Lighting for intersection work at Hazel and Fairchild streets, and a $58,000 contract with Thomas Excavating of Danville for the demolition of the Harwal building at 101 W. Harrison St.
A parking lot will be put in where the Harwal now stands, which the Fischer Theatre could use.
Ward 7 Alderman Bob Iverson said the Hazel and Fairchild improvements are a safety issue for better turning radiuses, visibility and the pedestrian traffic near the high school.