Shiloh residents are ‘adamantly opposed’ to two developments being proposed in the village.
With a standing room crowd at Monday’s Village of Shiloh Planning Commission Board meeting, over 20 residents voiced opposition for keeping a 328 home subdivision off Hartman Lane and a 24-hour gas station with a drive through proposed on Green Mount Road.
Over 40 attended people attended the 1 1/2-hour meeting held in the village hall.
Planning Commission Chairman Vince Kwiatkowski said after the meeting he doesn’t recall the board ever forwarding recommendations of denial on all agenda items before.
“The Board of Trustees doesn’t have to accept our recommendation, technically, they could still vote to grant the special use and rezoning applications for both (planned developments),” Kwiatkowski said.
The main bone of contention with residents boiled down to traffic congestion on Green Mount Road, Hartman and Thouvenot Lanes, as well as Frank Scott Parkway.
A number of residents also expressed concerns about crime and late hour lighting and noise in front of the Villages of Wingate subdivision off Green Mount Road.
Residents also questioned if the city’s infrastructure could handle the increased population growth at the proposed Hartman Lakes development.
Green Mount Road and Wingate
Dale Wade, of Pearl Family Limited Partnership, has submitted a special use application in a planned business zone district to construct a 24-hour convenience store operation with gasoline and food services, including a drive through, at 210 N. Green Mount Road.
Gail Wade, who represented her father, responded to the residents concerns during the public hearing.
“Our plan was to bring something that would be a benefit to the community,” she said. “It is close to two other fueling stations, and the third is within four miles (Circle K, coming spring 2016).”
Wade said their proposed 24-hour operation will provide a lot of security to neighborhoods.
“We find that our video surveillance and the lighting we’re required to have offers visibilities that normally you don’t have,” Wade said. “A lot of times our businesses are treated as, not only everyone’s bathroom in the U.S., but also a place of safe haven. We have a lot of people who do custody exchanges at our places.”
One resident said sarcastically told Wade amongst the groans and gasps, “You’re selling it really well to us.”
Wade responded: “It’s just the reality. When you say it’s dangerous, it’s probably safer than being in a lot of banks these days.”
Peter DeArmond, of 2267 London Lane, said he chose to retire in Shiloh for a reason, and it wasn’t for more developments.
“What attracted us to the neighborhood and area was that all the development and businesses were to the south of our subdivision, and the village itself, and all the money it invested into the new school,” DeArmond said. “When I think of convenience food service and gas station. I think truck stop. Is that what this is going to become?”
Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen Inc. is overseeing a traffic study on Green Mount Road.
TWM Planning Engineer Marsha Maller said, the front of the Villages of Wingate has always had business models like this in its future.
“The whole area was designed for restaurants, businesses, retail — that’s the whole part of the front of Wingate,” Maller said. “There’s supposed to be heavy commercial all along that 20-plus acres.”
Wingate resident Allison Cugier said her family researched the area prior to building in Wingate.
“We could have lived anywhere, but we talked to our developer and builders and our understanding was that area was zoned for offices, shops and dining, not a 24-hour operation, which is a big difference in terms of traffic, late hour noise, crime — huge difference,” Cugier said.
“I feel sorry for you all, but when we were looking at purchasing I was told it was a welcome development, and I feel badly for you in that sense, but again that was never the intent of the developer, so I don’t know why it’s a surprise.”
Cuiger said she plans on spearheading a petition, which she will present to the Village Board of Trustees on March 28. That also is when the Board of Trustees will consider both of the proposed projects.
Village Engineer Norm Etling said the entrance permit to the gas station has already been approved by the county, but the rest of the project must come before the Planning Commission, again.
The only dissenting vote came from newest member to the board Brian Manion.
Manion voted against the special use application for the planned business zone district on Green Mount Road. .
“I think it fits its permitted use and I think that type of business won’t have a huge impact on the traffic because I feel like it’ll be merely capturing traffic that is already there, not generating new or extra congestion,” he said.
“I also thought it would be good to have competition, maybe it would lower gas prices for those in the area and Shiloh residents.”
Green Mount Retail Center LLC submitted the rezoning application to change from the current Country Estates Zoning to multifamily and B3 Highway business at the proposed Hartman Lakes project. The .
Green Mount LLC wants to build 152 ranch homes, 120 garden houses and 56 townhouses on 55 acres. If approved, some of the housing would include senior living apartments.
Green Mount LLC is proposing to use the rezone the remaining eight acres for a B3 highway business district. A B3 highway district can accommodate a wide array of businesses, ranging from retail to office space, but with lesser intensity than the B4 zoning district.
Gene Thouvenot said her family’s property, at 1410 Thouvenot Lane, sits adjacent to the property that has been designated for the possible planned housing development on Hartman Lane.
“I’ve been a Shiloh resident for 46 years,” said Thouvenot who wants the village to require multiple retention ponds constructed to alleviate the ongoing flooding problems.
Michelle Thouvenot said her property at 1408 Thouvenot Lane, and the adjoining farm field, floods every time it rains.
“I’m very concerned that this problem will only be magnified if these some 300-plus units are built next to us,” Michelle Thouvenot said.
“Now, the water runoff fills up the adjoining field and overflows into our ditch (a couple feet) and cascades over our driveway now, but if and when these houses and apartments come in, the water’s going to be in my house.”