ST. CLOUD - An escape room business that opened in south St. Cloud in March has been granted a rezoning request, after it was discovered that it was operating in violation of the zoning rules for that neighborhood.

St. Cloud Escape Rooms is at 1204 7th Street South, in the former Red Cross building, near Tech High School.

City Planning Director Matt Glaesman says escape rooms are in a gray area, because they are so new.  The discussion during Monday night's St. Cloud City Council meeting was partly on whether the business can be considered an office business or more commercial.

Building owner Larry Keenan tells WJON news he and the business owners never wanted, or intended, to violate city rules, and as soon as they and the city realized the zoning needed to be amended they started working on it immediately.  Keenan says, because escape rooms are so new, it just took a long time to flush what needed to be done.

City councilwoman Carol Lewis says, while she doesn't like the fact that the business has been open for seven months already, she doesn't see many other options for that building.  Lewis also says while the 10:00 p.m. closing time for the business is later than a typical office space, it is no different than when Tech football played in that neighborhood at Clark Field with games going until 10:00 p.m.

One Lake George neighbor spoke during the public meeting arguing against granting the amendment to the PUD.  She says the 10:00 p.m. closing time on the weekends is too late for a residential neighborhood.