ALTON - A public hearing regarding a request from Zach Yinger to rezone several Alton properties has been canceled after he withdrew his request on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

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The Alton Plan Commission hearing was canceled just six days before it was set to begin on April 9, 2024. Deputy Director of Planning & Development Andi Yancey said they received the notice Wednesday morning from Yinger’s legal counsel.

“The Plan Commission meeting and public hearing is canceled due to the applicant informing us through his legal counsel that he is not moving forward with the hearing - he has withdrawn his petition,” she said.

Even without a public hearing, hundreds of community members have already expressed their opinion by signing a change.org petition urging the city to deny Yinger’s request given a series of serious allegations against him.

The petition, which has 579 signatures at the time of this writing, gives further context into the allegations surrounding Yinger and his Alton businesses:

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“Studio 420 has been accused multiple times of failing compliance checks related to the sale of age-regulated products to minors. This issue is not just about zoning or business expansion - it's about the safety and well-being of our children.

“The city's decision on this matter will directly impact how easily minors can access age-regulated products in Alton, IL. It's alarming that despite multiple accusations and confirmed instances of non-compliance, Zach Yinger is still seeking to expand his businesses.

“We believe that everyone should be held accountable for their actions, especially when those actions put our youth at risk. The city must take these allegations seriously and consider them when deciding on rezoning requests.

“By signing this petition, you're sending a clear message to the city officials. We urge the city council not only deny Zach Yinger's rezoning request but also take necessary steps towards stricter enforcement of age-regulation laws in all local businesses.”

If Yinger were to resubmit his request at any point, Yancey said it would have to go through the exact same process and would be subject to another public hearing.

The full petition is available here. For more behind the zoning request, see previous coverage from Riverbender.com.

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