The fight for the proposed gas station in Mundelein is not over
Despite the rejection by the Mundelein Planning and Zoning Commission last month, the fight for a proposed Thornton gas station on the north side of the village is not over.
At Monday’s village board meeting, residents and two administrators opposed a request by future developers to merge two adjacent properties near highways 45 and 176 into a single 2.8-acre parcel, l one of the necessary steps to make the company a reality. .
The measure was eventually passed, but only after passionate calls to stop the project and accusations of, as resident Sara JW Larkin put it, “railroad work with more concern for big business than for the consequences for the inhabitants of the village “.
“Please slow down,” Larkin urged.
A Northbrook company called GMX Real Estate Group has a contract to buy the land and has offered the Thorntons.
The Original Omega restaurant, 10 E. Maple Ave., and a vacant industrial building at 739 N. Lake St. are now on the lot. Both buildings would be razed.
Residents of the surrounding area have expressed concerns about traffic, light at night, the potential impact on the environment and other issues.
Last month, the Planning and Zoning Commission – a group that advises the village council – rejected a series of requested changes to the village’s building codes covering parking, light brightness and other elements.
GMX subsequently withdrew the plan before the board could consider it.
According to municipal and state rules, had council voted and rejected requests for zoning exceptions, GMX would have had to wait at least a year to resubmit. But since the board did not vote on the plan, developers can resubmit the proposal at any time.
“Because GMX withdrew its petition before it reached the village council, they are not subject to this one-year requirement,” Mayor Steve Lentz explained Monday evening. Village attorney Kelly Cahill later agreed.
Additionally, Cahill and other attorneys in the room said consolidating packages was not a zoning issue and therefore was not bound by the same one-year restriction.
Some of the people who opposed the proposal on Monday questioned how GMX could have applied for the real estate consolidation without waiting a year, seemingly unaware or misunderstood the applicable rules. So did trustee Robin Meier, who accused village staff of mismanaging the case and called for an independent investigation into the case.
“We have to see who knew about it and when did they find out,” said Meier, whose term on the board ended on Friday.
In response, village administrator Eric Guenther said he was offended by the allegations Meier raised about his involvement in the case, as well as the roles of Lentz and Cahill.
The merger proposal passed 4-2, with Meier and Trustee Dawn Abernathy dissenting.
If GMX does not want to risk the formal rejection of previously desired zoning variations, the group can come up with plans for a Thornton station that does not need them. Village officials said they did not know GMX’s intentions.
A GMX representative could not be reached.