Naperville Chuck E. Cheese may move to new site

It looks like Naperville’s Chuck E. Cheese will be on the move.

The Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday night gave the Texas-based company a positive recommendation for its petition for a conditional use permit and parking variance to move its Naperville store from 1154 E. Ogden Ave. to 506 S. Route 59, just off the corner of Route 59 and Aurora Avenue.

“This will allow us to offer a better product to the community of Naperville,” Deborah Shannon, spokesperson for the company, said at the public hearing.

Shannon indicated that the Ogden Avenue location was simply too small for the company’s plans for bigger games and a larger, more interactive environment for children and their parents.

“Our stores have grown from 12,000 square feet to about 15,000 square feet,” she said.

The proposed store on Route 59 will be 14,840 square feet.

The property contains a 102,213 square-foot multi-tenant building, and is also the home of Burlington Coat Factory.

With the property already zoned B2 (Community Shopping Center), the commission had no qualms about the conditional use for an amusement establishment. However the parking variance raised a few eyebrows.

City code requires 542 off-street parking spaces for the property but, because of previous variances granted, it only has 488 available.

Code for an amusement establishment calls for 148 spaces and the variance sought is for Chuck E. Cheese to operate with only 94 spaces.

Plam Commission membre Tom Dabareiner said the variance is “fairly significant,” and called attention to the lack of information provided by the petitioner on parking.

“It was somewhat vague and not specific to the site,” he said.

Several of Dabareiner’s colleagues agreed. Plan Commission member Greg Bruno said “it’s a big variance” while commission member Bob Williams said he has “big concerns about the parking.”

Commission member Sean Hastings said before the vote that he was inclined to support the recommendation, but advised Shannon that a formal parking study would be a good idea when the company took its proposal to the full City Council for a final vote.

The Plan Commission eventually approved the proposal unanimously.

“It looks like a big number,” Commission Chairwoman Patty Gustin said of the parking variance. “But we’re dealing with a big development.”

Shannon said the company plans to get the proposal before the full City Council in July.

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