FOX RIVER GROVE – Several residents from the neighborhood surrounding the village’s planned public works facility voiced concerns about the building at Thursday’s Village Board meeting, with many focusing on how the new facility would affect the property values of surrounding homes.
Six residents made comments about the facility planned for the northeast corner of Lincoln and Hillcrest avenues, with others looking on.
Other concerns included how much traffic on Lincoln Avenue would increase, how the village would deal with frequent flooding issues on those streets and how close the building and salt dome were to the property lines of nearby homeowners.
Building & Zoning Board President Dan Celske, who requested the discussion at the Sept. 17 board meeting, said he lives 100 yards from the site and believes the facility will adversely affect the fundamental characteristics of the neighborhood.
“What we’re ending up putting in is a big industrial garage,” Celske said. “I appreciate the efforts of everybody’s who’s been involved in putting these designs together to try to soften it up with brick, asphalt, shrubbery, but honestly, that’s not enough to salvage what it’s going to do negatively to property value.”
Celske said his biggest concern was the lack of buffer between the building and nearby properties.
Neighborhood resident Carl Eggert said he was concerned about losing all the value he had added to his home through renovations.
“All the money I’ve stuck into it, I probably have already lost if that happens,” Eggert said. “I just worked for two years putting the money into it. I just hope you guys come up with something different.”
Village Administrator Derek Soderholm acknowledged the village did not know how the building would change property values. He also said the facility was already as small as it could be to meet village needs, and moving the footprint of the main garage would eliminate an important pull-through lane for trucks.
The board spent some time discussing whether the proposed salt dome could be moved to improve the views of local homes, but Village President Bob Nunamaker noted that moving the dome did not alleviate the major concerns residents voiced.
The facility has been planned since last August, when the board abandoned plans to build it on County Line Road after residents filed a lawsuit. Later that month, the board passed an ordinance that no longer requires the village to obtain special use permits or variances when building a municipal structure.
The Village Board decided to consider the comments and issue an update on the project at its next meeting Oct. 15.