GLEN ELLYN – Despite continued opposition from residents, Glen Ellyn village trustees and Village President Alex Demos on May 1 voted 5-2 to finalize the sale of land at 825 N. Main St. for a proposed gas station and convenience store.
Voting "no" were trustees John Kenwood and Mark Senak. Demos voted because the village president is required to vote for the sale of public property.
The sale was approved with the conditions that the station would be closed from midnight to 5 a.m. seven days a week and the gas station operator, True North, would allow for an access easement on the property for the provision of additional on-site landscaping.
Senak voiced concerns about the fact that the gas station would be located a block away from Forest Glen Elementary School.
"The environmental and traffic studies have not shown – in fact, they have not even addressed to my knowledge – whether the proposed use would be hazardous to the students of Forest Glen," Senak said. "I am unwilling to approve a project unless we have some evidence that it will not negatively impact the health and safety of the students of our community and the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods."
Trustee Diane McGinley, who will be seated as village president this month, said she appreciated the input of residents.
"You look at this project from the beginning to where it is today, it has really improved, and that is the part of the village process that I enjoy," she said. "My pledge to you is that I am not done listening. I am here, and I am listening."
Trustees also approved a liquor license for the business. As part of the license, True North will be able to sell alcohol from 9 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to midnight Sundays.
Diana Martinez, who lives on Elm Street, stated several objections to the sale of the land, including that the traffic study conducted for the project was "incomplete and inaccurate."
"It was done on a winter day, with wind gusts and snow and does not accurately reflect a typical day of pedestrian traffic," Martinez said, in addressing trustees.
Resident Peter Clifford also voiced his concerns about the project.
"I get that we need economic development, and I support economic development, but my only question is, to what end?" Clifford asked trustees. "Where do we draw the line here? If we abandon everything that makes Glen Ellyn unique and special and a place that we all want to be, then what's the point of being in Glen Ellyn?"
More than 1,200 people have signed an online petition opposing the gas station, and Forest Glen Elementary School's PTA also voted to oppose the project.
Trustees previously voted April 25 to approve variations from the village's code to allow for the gas station – which can accommodate as many as 12 vehicles at a time – and 4,200-square-foot convenience store at the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street.
On March 13, trustees also approved a special-use permit for the gas station and convenience store and sign code variations for the project.
The Village Board in February 2016 voted to sell the 1.35-acre property to True North for $630,000 for the development of the 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 six years. Previously, a dilapidated gas station had been on the property.