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Glen Ellyn trustees OK Italian ice cart, village to establish future vendor regulations

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn will welcome an Italian ice cart this summer, but it's not yet clear where it will be located.

The Village Board of Trustees voted 4 to 2 at its meeting Monday to approve a license agreement allowing Sunset Slush to operate May 15 to Sept. 15 in downtown Glen Ellyn.

Trustees Pete Ladesic and Jim Burket, both of whom expressed worries about the potential for carts to take business from brick-and-mortar establishments at a previous meeting March 24, cast the opposing votes.

Concerns Monday involved safety hazards associated with the cart's proposed location in front of Citibank at 444 N. Main St.

“The last thing I want is to have a car stop right there,” Ladesic said.

Officials discussed the bank's proximity to railroad tracks and to traffic that is not controlled by a stop sign.

“I don't want to see a crowd gathering near the train tracks,” said Chief of Police Phil Norton.

Potential solutions to the issue posed at the meeting included posting signage to alert people nearby of the risk and changing the cart's location.

Among possible sites put forth for Sunset Slush were: the east side of Main Street across the road from the originally proposed location; around the corner from that site on Duane Street; at the village floral clock; or on the other side of the train tracks near the Heavenly Hot Dog Cart.

Sunset Slush owner Erik Anderson said he was open to moving, and only chose the Citibank location because he was under the impression it would be easier to establish a cart if it were affiliated with a private walk.

Anderson's chosen brand of Italian ice is based in the southeast United States. He will be Sunset Slush's first operator in Illinois.

The business has a deal with nearby restaurant Olive 'n Vinnie's to sublet storage space for carts and inventory. Additionally, it will pay the village $50 per year, a $100 one-time fee and sales tax in order to sell its goods in Glen Ellyn.

Village staff will continue to work with Anderson to determine a definitive site.

Additionally, trustees talked about the need for specific cart regulations in the Village Code.

Glen Ellyn has authorized cart agreements since 1995, including Heavenly hot dogs, which has operated in the village 17 years.

Historically, demand for carts has been minimal, according to Planning and Development Director Staci Hulseberg. However, she said the owner of downtown restaurant The Stand requested applications for two carts Monday.

Staff will work in the coming months to develop clearer policies on the matter.

Future parameters to be considered include setting a maximum number of available licenses, whether to give preference to existing businesses and determining a minimum distance vendors would need to be from restaurants.

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