GLEN ELLYN – Jessica Commo is concerned about her kids being able to get safely to and from Forest Glen Elementary School if a 24-hour gas station is built one block from the school.
"My concerns are that it would be so close to the elementary school and the traffic increase we would have on this road with our kids crossing right there," said Commo, who is opposing a plan to build a gas station on the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street. "I'm just really worried it won't be safe for them."
She started an online petition opposing the plans. To date, more than 600 people have signed the petition.
Village trustees in February 2016 voted to sell the 1.35-acre property to True North Energy LLC for $630,000 for the development of a gas station and convenience store.
The village purchased the land for $590,000 in September 2010 and invested $90,000 in remediation, demolition and restoration efforts over the last six years, Glen Ellyn Economic Development Coordinator Meredith Hannah told village officials at the time.
Previously, a dilapidated gas station had been located on the property, which is near Stacy's Tavern Museum. The property is zoned commercial and has an average daily traffic volume of about 20,000 vehicles, Hannah said.
Village Planning and Development Director Staci Hulseberg said the gas station would have 12 fueling positions at six two-sided pumps. Members of the village's Plan Commission in February recommended against approving the project.
Numerous concerns were raised by commission members and nearby residents, including stormwater runoff, the need for additional landscaping and fencing, the gas station canopy not fitting the character of the neighborhood, and lighting, Hulseberg said.
Other residents, like Megan Clifford, were worried about the gas station causing increased health risks for children because of substances like benzene, which can be found in gasoline fumes.
According to the American Cancer Society, exposure to benzene can cause short-term and long-term health effects.
"Neighborhoods that are next to gas stations have an increased risk of childhood leukemia," Clifford said.
Residents also contend the gas station proposal does not align with the proposed village plans to maintain the location as the historic gateway of Glen Ellyn and that the station is not necessary, as there are eight gas stations within four miles of the location.
Village trustees are set to review the plans at their meeting at 7 p.m. March 13 at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center, 535 Duane St.
If you go
What: Glen Ellyn Village Board meeting about gas station proposal
When: 7 p.m. March 13
Where: Glen Ellyn Civic Center, 535 Duane St.