Diana Martinez, who spoke on behalf of several residents, addressed village trustees with her concerns during the April 10 Village Board meeting. She read from the village's 2010 Comprehensive Plan and its vision for Five Corners, which states, "The commercial portion of Five Corners should remain small and compact...The Five Corners commercial area should not undergo expansion into the adjacent neighborhoods."
"It didn't say go throw in a 60,000-square-foot gas station that goes up against the neighbors' lots," Martinez said. "It's clear what they were talking about."
She also voiced concerns the gas station would create flooding problems and cause fumes, emissions and gas runoff into the surrounding neighborhood. Neighbors also are concerned about lights from the station shining into their homes, she said.
"I don't think it fits the context of the surrounding neighborhood," Martinez said.
More than 900 people have signed an online petition opposing the proposed station. Several other residents spoke against the project, including Brett Wallin.
"I believe that this issue is about much more than a gas station in our community," he said. "It's about the very reason why this legislative body exists or that it should exist. We as a community place our collective trust in those of you that sit up here tonight... Our collective trust in you should be motivation to take responsibility to protect the best interests of all of us. But that hasn't happened."
The majority of village trustees on March 13 voted to approve a special-use permit for the gas station and convenience store proposed at 825 N. Main St. They also approved sign code variations for the project.
Trustees will vote at a later date on the petitioner's requested variations from the village's zoning code, along with the project's exterior appearance.
In February 2016, trustees 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. Previously, a dilapidated gas station had been on the property, which is near Stacy's Tavern Museum.
Members of the village's Plan Commission in February recommended against approving the project. Numerous concerns had been 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.
True North Chief Operating Officer Ryan Howard previously told trustees and residents the company has revised its plans to make the project fit in better with the area.
"We wouldn't have offered these concessions unless we really desired to be part of your community, which we do," Howard had said.