DARIEN – Plans to build a warehouse in Darien that would include 31 truck loading docks will move forward following a 4-3 vote Oct. 1 by the Darien City Council.
The vote comes about one month after the council voted 4-3 against a height variance request to build the warehouse on 10.25 acres east of Cass Avenue on Frontage Road.
The plan was put forth by Sterling Bay, a Chicago-based development company. Sterling Bay dropped the request for a height variance before returning to the council.
As a result, aldermen voted in favor of the company's site plan and a request to consolidate several parcels into one.
Alderman Joe Kenny, who initially opposed the warehouse, voted in favor of the proposal.
“If this project doesn’t go in where it’s currently at, then some of our neighboring communities – Woodridge, Burr Ridge, Willowbrook – will take on a project like this," Kenny said at the meeting.
The warehouse site is adjacent to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, and opponents have argued truck emissions will harm the 2,500-acre forest preserve that surrounds Argonne National Laboratory.
Darien resident Chuck Fischer, a vocal opponent of the plan, said the City Council will be responsible if the potential toxins caused by the trucks entering and exiting the facility warehouse lead to health concerns.
“I don’t want to make this emotional," Fischer said at the City Council meeting. "I want to make this scientific and logical. Do you not understand this will kill the forest preserve? You have proven yourselves to be scientifically illiterate if you support this.”
Waterfall Glen features 11 miles of trails, 740 native plant species and more than 300 species of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles, according to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's website.
Opponents also have expressed concerns about the potential air and noise pollution.
The warehouse has been a controversial issue since July when the Darien Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a height variance for the building. The city’s Municipal Services Committee on Aug. 27 voted 2-1 in its favor as well.
“It comes down to profits or people at the end of the day,” said Alderman Thomas Chlystek, who voted against the proposal. Chlystek is running for Illinois House District 82 representative in the November election.