Shiloh board approves Wilke property rezoning despite public's opposition
The village of Shiloh had a full house with standing room only at Village Hall Monday night for its regular Board of Trustees meeting when newly elected Trustee Mark Herrmann was sworn in.
“It feels good to be a part of the board,” Herrmann said. “I look forward to getting further involved in the community and help the area keep growing.”
Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier and Trustees Tina Warchol and Bob Weilmuenster were all three sworn in after being re-elected.
There were 10 Shiloh and Belleville residents who attended the meeting as well to oppose the Wilke properties rezoning request. The board chose to previously table the items until board members could learn more about the layout of the properties in relation to surrounding properties, as other residents had voiced opposition too.
“We tabled it until tonight’s meeting, not May 22nd’s committee meeting, because we received all the information we needed,” Vernier said.
Laura Matreci, who lives in the 3100 block of Enclave Drive, said she, along with many of her neighbors did not know of the requests, nor the meetings where the Shiloh Planning Commission and trustees reviewed the items.
“We knew nothing of it,” Matreci said.
Michael Heup, who also lives on Enclave Drive, joined other adjoining property owners at previous meetings to voice his opposition. Heup, as well as Nancy and Richard Voelkel, who live on Carlyle Avenue, all received notices by mail from the village.
Village Clerk Brenda Kern said only adjoining property owners like the Voelkel’s and Heup are required to be notified by mail.
“We had a notice published in the paper, and we even have had signs posted near the property so people driving by could be aware of it too — we’re not trying to hide anything,” Kern said.
The nine other neighbors attending echoed concerns.
“We’ve been fighting this kind of thing off for 10 years,” Don Feldott, who lives on Carlyle Avenue, told the board.
Norman Wilke, who founded Wilke Window and Door, had two parcels he owns recently annexed into the village. Both were under review for rezoning. The Planning Commission formerly gave its blessing to Wilke’s requests April 10, moving them forward to village trustees, who have the final say.
Currently, Wilke’s land at 3090 Carlyle Ave. is zoned non-urban (NU) agriculture, and Wilke wants it changed to (B4) business zoning. Another parcel at 1331 Shiloh Station Road is zoned non-urban in the county now, but Wilke wants it changed to NU.
Steve Wilke, CEO and co-owner of Wilke Window and Door, was in attendance with his father Norman during Monday’s meeting, but didn’t address the board.
“We feel the trustees made a very good decision based on the overall interest of all the citizens of Shiloh. Zoning hearings are often difficult for everyone involved. By approving this zoning request, the trustees have created a substantial opportunity for Shiloh in the future for both jobs and tax revenue,” Steve Wilke said.
Just as he told the Planning Commission in April, Norman Wilke said after the meeting Monday that he doesn’t have any plans for development anytime soon, as this is simply a “long-term planning move.”
Steve Wilke added, “It’s a long way from something happening because obviously, like the one lady was concerned about fatalities but any business going in there will have to put stop lights in and improve the streets and that intersection because it is a dangerous intersection.”
Leon and Van Waddell, of the 3200 block of Enclave Dr. in Belleville, spoke in opposition to the rezoning; and Van read a message from a neighbor, who was unable to attend the meeting, but was concerned about fatal crashes that have occurred in recent years on Shiloh Station Road.