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Fox River Grove trustees to discuss Bettendorf Castle

Special-use permit for local landmark will be discussed at next Committee of the Whole

Outside of the Bettendorf Castle in Fox River Grove. Owner Michael Strohl is petitioning the village for a special-use permit that would allow booked tours at the castle.
Outside of the Bettendorf Castle in Fox River Grove. Owner Michael Strohl is petitioning the village for a special-use permit that would allow booked tours at the castle.

The Fox River Grove Committee of the Whole will meet Thursday to consider granting the owners of Bettendorf Castle a special-use permit, which would allow the owners to give booked tours and host private events on the property.

The meeting is set to take place at 7 p.m. at Fox River Grove Village Hall, 305 Illinois St. Board members will discuss owner Michael Strohl’s petition before reconvening at a Village Board meeting at a later date for a final vote.

The meeting is the second in a series of meetings involving the petition for a special-use permit for the castle. On June 21, Strohl presented a petition to the Zoning Board of Appeals that would allow him to give public tours of the landmark.

After mostly negative testimonies from residents and about 10 minutes of deliberation, the board was split, 3-3, in its recommendation to grant the owners tour privileges. However, the board unanimously ruled against a series of seven variances that would allow the castle to host private events, such as weddings, banquets and more.

Among some of the concerns from residents was traffic on the narrow residential streets, overcrowding and loud music at night. Some members of the board said opening the castle would be good for tourism.

The final vote most likely will take place at an Aug. 2 meeting, Village President Robert Nunamaker said.

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