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Crime & Courts

Glen Ellyn gas station opponents file lawsuit against village, station operator

Protect Glen Ellyn Inc. filed suit May 22

Opponents of a gas station proposed at the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street have filed a lawsuit against the village of Glen Ellyn for approving the project and gas station operator True North Energy LLC.
Opponents of a gas station proposed at the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street have filed a lawsuit against the village of Glen Ellyn for approving the project and gas station operator True North Energy LLC.

GLEN ELLYN – Opponents of a gas station proposed at the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street have filed a lawsuit against the village of Glen Ellyn for approving the project and gas station operator True North Energy LLC.

The nonprofit group Protect Glen Ellyn Inc. filed the suit May 22 in DuPage County Circuit Court. According to the lawsuit, the mission of Protect Glen Ellyn is to "protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of the residents of Glen Ellyn, and educate and advocate for responsible development."

The lawsuit asks for a court to declare the group's "procedural and substantive due process rights have been violated" and the project and special-use application does not comply with the village's zoning ordinances. The group also wants a court to determine the project violates the village's own planning principles and to reverse the special-use permit given to True North.

It also asks the court to award attorney's fees and "any such other relief as the court deems just and proper." The group also is asking for a preliminary and permanent injunction forbidding True North from constructing the project, and a preliminary and permanent injunction forbidding the village from granting any and all building permits for the project. A status hearing on the suit is set for Sept. 18.

Glen Ellyn Village Attorney Greg Mathews said the village "believes that it followed the law of the state and the village of Glen Ellyn in coming to the conclusion to approve this development and let it go forward."

During public hearings on the project, residents who live near the site voiced concerns the gas station would create flooding problems and cause fumes, emissions and gas runoff into the surrounding neighborhood. They also voiced concerns about the fact that the gas station would be located a block away from Forest Glen Elementary School.

In response to concerns raised by residents, along with village staff and the village's Architectural Review and Plan commissions, True North revised its plans, agreeing to more than 30 conditions. Those include eliminating a proposed car wash and redesigning the convenience store building to add a gabled roof and cupola to give the building a more historical appearance.

True North also agreed with the condition the station would be closed from midnight to 5 a.m. seven days a week. The operator had wanted the station to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Despite continued opposition from residents, Glen Ellyn trustees and outgoing Village President Alex Demos on May 1 voted 5-2 to finalize the sale of land at 825 N. Main St. for the 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.

Trustees previously voted April 25 to approve variations from the village's code to allow for the gas station – which would be able to accommodate as many as 12 vehicles at a time – and 4,200-square-foot convenience store.

On March 13, trustees approved a special-use permit and sign code variations for the project. Members of the village's Plan Commission in February recommended against approving 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.

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