The city of Joliet is checking on companies operating without required business licenses.
The matter came up earlier this month when the City Council was asked to approve a zoning variation and special use permit for Illinois Truck and RV Repair operating at 490 S. Hammes Ave., which is in the Oak Leaf Industrial Park.
The council at its May 16 meeting approved the request but only after some questions about why the business was already operating without the required zoning and license.
“Some people don’t know that operating a business like this requires a license,” city Planning Director James Torri told the council.
City Manager James Capparelli said the business was identified with the help of an inspector looking for companies operating without the required city license.
“We’ve made some incredible progress because of that,” Capparelli said.
A city license is not required for all businesses. But the truck repair business at Hammes Avene is one that does need a license.
Torri said the Hammes Avenue location has been occupied since the early 2000s, which raised questions from Councilwoman Jan Quillman.
“They should be charged some fines for operating so long,” said Quillman, who was the lone no vote in an 8-1 approval for the zoning and permit needed for the business.
A staff report noted that the site and surrounding property has been used for industrial operations since the early 2000s.
St. Jude’s Catholic Church and the parish school is within 500 feet of the site.
Asta Kaupe, representing Illinois Truck and RV Repair at the council meeting, said that Illinois Truck and RV Repair had only been there for the last four years and was primarily doing work on its own equipment. It previously was located in Romeoville.
Once the company became aware of the issues in Joliet, management decided to apply for the required zoning and license, Kaupe said.
“We decided not to risk it and do the variations,” Kaupe said. “We did not know that in order to work on our own equipment we needed to have this done.”
According to a city staff report on the matter, the city got a call about the business in April regarding trucks being parked outside the property line and welding work being done outside the main building.
Torri noted that approval of the zoning variation and special use permit included city-imposed conditions to address concerns about how the business was operating.
The staff report also described the Illinois Truck and RV Repair operation as appropriate for the site, noting it is surrounded by other trucking operations.