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Crime & Courts

Legal battle over proposed gas station in Glen Ellyn continues

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 – The legal battle continues over a gas station proposed at the southeast corner of St. Charles Road and Main Street in Glen Ellyn.

After the village of Glen Ellyn and the operator of the proposed gas station filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by opponents of the gas station, the group filed a response to the motion.

On July 20, the nonprofit group Protect Glen Ellyn Inc. filed an amended complaint to counter the village's claim that it did not own property within 1,200 feet of the proposed development. In May, the group filed a suit in DuPage County Circuit Court against the village and True North Energy LLC to stop the station from being built.

"In fact, we do own property within 1,200 feet and have the right to bring this case to court," Protect Glen Ellyn President Megan Clifford said in an email. "The names in the amended complaint represent a small fraction of those opposed to a gas station at 5-corners. Our elected leaders know of the 1,200 petitioners opposed to this development, the more than 215 residents who wrote letters and emails in opposition, and the dozens of residents who appeared at village meetings and spoke out against this special use. It is disturbing that our village leaders place less importance on the health and safety of our community than the potential for an incremental bump in revenue. We know we are doing the right thing for the community."

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.

In turn, the village and True North on June 27 filed a joint motion to dismiss the suit. The motion argues that Protect Glen Ellyn does not have standing to challenge the village's granting of a special-use permit and other zoning relief to True North because it does not meet the jurisdictional requirement in the Adjoining Landowner Act that it be an owner or tenant of real property within 1,200 feet of the property.

"Moreover, plaintiff's challenge to the grant of a special use permit and other zoning relief does not fall within the stated purpose of the Adjoining Landowner Act, which is to provide an avenue for neighboring property owners or tenants to challenge the use of property that violates either zoning or building regulations," the motion to dismiss stated.

In response to concerns raised by residents, along with village staff and the village's Architectural Review and Plan commissions, True North had revised its plans, agreeing to more than 30 conditions.

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

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, they also approved a special-use permit 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.

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