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Residential concerns for proposed Butterfield Road gas station include traffic, noise

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 1:25 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:59 p.m. CDT

GLEN ELLYN – Several concerned residents attended a public hearing with the DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals May 23 regarding a proposed gas station development at the northeast corner of Butterfield Road and Route 53 near Glen Ellyn.

The 1.5 acre development at 22W030 Butterfield Rd. would include a gas station, car wash and convenience store. Developer Buchanan Energy is seeking a special use permit for the gas station and car wash, as well as variances for outdoor seasonal displays and sign sizes.

Neighbors of the proposed development were given an opportunity to speak at the public hearing and many comments focused on concerns regarding increased traffic congestion, noise pollution effects on nearby Butterfield Park District and removal of green space.

While Buchanan Energy is the developer and contracted purchaser of the land, the gas station will sell Mobil fuel, and the store will be branded Bucky's, said Walt Hainsfurther, architect for the development. Buchanan Energy is the regional distributor for Mobil in the Chicago market.

Currently, a convenience store could be built on the land, but a special use permit is required for the gas station and car wash, Buchanan Energy representative Richard McMahon said.

The requested sign variances are primarily necessary because gas stations are mandated to display their prices, Hainsfurther said. The allowed sign sizes do not provide enough room to display both the business name and prices at a size suitable to be seen by drivers on the nearby roadways, he said.

Outdoor seasonal displays are often used at gas stations for items such as mulch during the warmer months and salt during the winter, Hainsfurther said. The displays would be located in front of the convenience store and near each of the gas pumps, he said.

Some members of the public questioned whether the development is necessary in the area, since there are other gas stations and a Walmart near the intersection.

"This does not create a unique set of services for the immediate community," said David Schmidt, who frequently drives near the area. "This is a redundant use of land for services that are already on that corner."

Local business owners and residents started a petition against the development that was given to the board Thursday with about 840 signatures.

Those involved with the development do not expect it to cause a nuisance in the area, citing plan elements that include fencing to prevent noise pollution and trees as green space. The business is expected to draw in current traffic on the roadways, not generate new traffic, Hainsfurther said.

The board asked for additional details from the development team, including a noise study performed at a different site and more plan specifics, by the end of June. The board is expected to meet again regarding this issue on July 11, after receiving the requested information.

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