Despite concerns from residents and the Butterfield Park District, a proposed gas station is one step closer to being developed at the northeast corner of Butterfield Road and Route 53 near Glen Ellyn.
The DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals voted 4-2 to make a recommendation to the DuPage County Board to approve a permit for the development, with the addition of conditions pertaining to the establishment of a buffer between the gas station and park district and other concerns.
"It's hard when you have the whole community here and they're against it – and a lot of times we defer to them – but you need a legal basis to deny, and I don't think we have it," Trustee Barry Ketter said.
The 1.5-acre development from Buchanan Energy would sit at 22W030 Butterfield Road, directly to the west of the Butterfield Park District. It would include a gas station, car wash and "Bucky's" convenience store.
At a public hearing May 23, residents discussed concerns regarding traffic congestion, noise pollution and removal of green space. At that time, about 840 signatures had been collected against the development, but that number has since risen to include more than 1,200, said Larry Reiner, Butterfield Park District executive director.
More than 100 members of the community attended a continuation of the public hearing on July 11, during which Reiner spoke about the concerns of the park district.
He said officials are worried about the harmful effects of having a gas station so close to an area frequently used by children.
"It's a good product – I don't deny that; it's the wrong location," Reiner said, adding that he'd like to see everyone work together to create a "win-win" that would be good for the entire community and not just one developer.
Taking into account some of the concerns of the park district and residents, conditions were added to the permit as part of the zoning board's recommendation.
These include preserving a 10-foot-wide buffer space of trees along the development's property near the Butterfield Park District. Buchanan Energy also has agreed to install a fence between the properties that could stand as tall as 8 feet.
On Butterfield Road, drivers will only be able to turn right in and right out of the development, meaning all traffic coming in and out will be westbound. This condition will go into effect after the expected construction of a median on Butterfield Road is completed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The gas station also will be restricted regarding its refueling times and the type of gasoline it can sell, which won't include high-flow gas for large trucks.
Trustees discussed adding a condition that would involve checking back with the developer to see if the other conditions are being met.
This condition was tentatively approved with the others, pending the presentation of the exact wording at the zoning board's next scheduled public hearing July 18. Unless trustees find any issues with the condition as written, the recommendation will proceed to the DuPage County Board.
The proposed development will need to be considered by the DuPage County Board's Development Committee before heading to the board as a whole. Park district officials said they intend to continue to plead their case with that committee, which is expected to discuss the item Aug. 6.