LAKEMOOR – After ongoing problems with a local repossession business forced the village to turn to a state agency to shut it down, the village is requiring all businesses to get licenses.
The Lakemoor Village Board recently approved an ordinance that expands the village's business licensing requirements to include all types of businesses instead of the limited types required under its previous ordinance.
The board had tried a business registry as a middle step between doing nothing and licensing, but the village didn't have any recourse to go after those that didn't register, Village Administrator David Alarcon said. The village also couldn't use the registration as leverage to get businesses to follow its ordinances.
After an experience with a business that forced the village to turn to a state agency for help, the village decided it needed another avenue to enforce its ordinances.
The business – Active Recovery Agency, which was located at 216 W. Rand Road – specialized in repossession and was bringing cars on to the property overnight, Alarcon said. The property wasn't zoned for that, and neighbors complained.
The only thing the village could do was turn to the state repossession industry regulator, the Illinois Commerce Commission, or take the company to court for an ordinance violation. The Illinois Commerce Commission ultimately revoked the company's state license that allowed it to operate as a repossession agency.
"[Village business licenses] give us a tool, especially if we have any issue that is a life safety issue or poses a danger to the community," Alarcon said. "We can take action immediately. It also gives the business owner an appeal process."
The cost to obtain a business license is the same as it was previously under the old limited licensing rules.
The village also hopes to use the licensing process to build a database of businesses, recording who the emergency contact is and which businesses have hazardous substances located on site, for emergency responders to use, Alarcon said.