Ski Snowstar request moves on to county board

Published: Sep. 19, 2017 at 4:35 AM CDT
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Ski Snowstar is hoping to expand their business operations to include more than just winter activities. Tuesday, September 19 the resort's special use request will be considered by the Rock Island County Board.

The local ski resort is asking for three main additions: the ability to rent their lodge, hold outdoor events and build an obstacle or zipline course.

Back in the beginning of August, a public hearing was held by the Rock Island County Zoning Board of Appeals. When neighbors were notified of the potential changes, some spoke out.

Neighbors raised concerns about traffic and dust on the roads from added visitors.

Managers at Ski Snowstar told TV-6 they understood the concern, but after two disappointing winters they need to find a way to bring in consistent revenue.

The request went before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Sept. 6.

The ZBA recommended the county board approve the special use permit, but with conditions.

13 conditions are laid out in the request that take into account the neighbors concerns:

"Note: These are in addition to existing conditions for winter activities.

1. The petitioner shall be allowed to use the Lodge for normal activities that fit assembly


2. The petitioner shall be allowed to install a zip line and/or ropes & obstacles course with

appropriate insurance and safety precautions.

3. The petitioner shall be limited to a maximum of twelve (12) outdoor events/activities mud runs,

fall festivals, car shows, etc per year. Outdoor concerts are prohibited.

4. The petitioner shall be allowed to operate the activities listed above within the following

guidelines: Monday & Tuesday – Closed (Excluding Holidays); Wednesday & Thursday 9 AM til 5

PM; Friday & Saturday – 9 AM til 11 PM; Sundays 9 AM til 5 PM. Holiday hours - 9 AM til 9PM.

5. Signage to the property shall alternate from the winter to non-winter signage. Traffic shall be

encouraged to access the property for non-winter events using 126th Street West from 78th


6. Licenses from the Rock Island County Health Department, Liquor Commission and applicable

State Licenses shall be updated to reflect the increased use.

7. The petitioner shall provide a community calendar so that neighbors can know when events

will take place. Ex: Google calendar, a sign visible from road, etc.

8. The petitioner shall work with the Township to offset costs of dust control measures. It is

encouraged that a surcharge be added to these non-winter events to offset these costs.

9. The permit shall be good until December 31, 2019.

10. Changes to the scope of operation of this facility or ownership shall require another hearing

before this Board.

11. An annual inspection of the property will be conducted and a renewal fee shall be paid to

continue the use.

12. This Special Use Permit is non-transferable and shall expire if not renewed annually.

13. If a dispute should arise concerning the interpretation herein, a hearing shall be scheduled before the Zoning Board of Appeals and they shall make the final interpretation."

The county board could approve this request with a simple majority. If that does happen, Snowstar managers said they would try to first begin the lodge rental. The other activities/events would depend on this coming winter and ownership decisions.

The Rock Island County Board Meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Board Chambers (County Building, 1504 Third Ave, Rock Island, IL).