PLAINFIELD – Homeowners near Bott Park on Renwick Road pushed back against a proposal to build a recreation center at the park, and the Plainfield Village Board responded.
Monday night was the third village open meeting in which several residents of the village and Plainfield Township spoke out against various parts of the proposal, which has come about because of a voter-approved referendum in 2016 that gave the Plainfield Park District the ability to bond out for an indoor recreation facility.
The village board is deciding whether to grant the park district a special-use permit for a recreation facility at the park, which is in a zoned residential area. The board also has to decide whether to approve the site plan for the proposed center.
The park is at the edge of village limits, but several unincorporated residential streets are nearby and surrounded by neighborhoods that are annexed to the village.
Park district residents complained in two prior meetings about the proposal’s lack of a swimming pool, as well as traffic and environmental concerns. But Monday the feedback revolved solely around potential traffic and environmental issues.
Plainfield Township resident Terry Brown said it’s already “impossible” to get out of his driveway because motorists constantly speed up and down Renwick Road. He said speed-detecting lights that were put up to let people know how fast they’re going has done nothing.
“It just lets me know how fast they’re going,” Brown said.
He acknowledged a traffic study is underway with this proposal, but said he doesn’t know how the village can proceed without the results of the traffic study. Additionally, he said as a township resident, he wasn’t able to vote for any member of the village board but they could potentially hurt his property values with more traffic.
Residents Theresa Faletti and Betty La Tour called for environmental studies, with the former citing flooding concerns and the latter citing water contamination concerns.
“We have septic tanks and water wells,” La Tour said. “Are our wells gonna be contaminated with the runoff from the antifreeze and oils and stuff? I mean, what are we gonna do about our water? Is our water gonna be safe?”
La Tour also said she has never let her grandchildren play in her front yard because of the speeding motorists on Renwick Road.
“I’ve seen cars go 90 miles an hour down that road,” La Tour said.
After a few more public comments, Trustee Cally Larson made a motion to table the proposal until the results of the traffic study come in.
The vote passed, 4-2, with Trustees Bill Lamb and Larry Newton voting against tabling it. Larson and Trustees Ed O’Rourke, Brian Wojowski and Margie Bonuchi voted to table it.