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Gas Station Plan Gets Pushback from Residents

Homeowners oppose plan to bring new business to the former site of the Go-Tane station.

For years, a gas station sat at the corner of Route 30 and Route 59.

But in 2008, thanks to federal and state funding, work began on an $89 million project to and alleviate the bottleneck at Route 30. Amidst the construction, the former Go-Tane station, by then vacant, was demolished, leaving green space at the intersection.

Now, a developer known as G.C. Real Estate LLC is looking to build a new gas station at the site. Proposed as a BP station, the project includes a canopy with eight fuel pumps and a 3,600-square-foot convenience store with a drive-thru business — possibly a Subway restaurant, according to project architect Eric Eriksson. The plan also designates a triangular 4,500-square-foot section at the hard corner as a donation to the village for a possible Route 66 monument.

Speaking on behalf of the developer, Eriksson was at the June 5 plan commission meeting to discuss the proposal for the station, designed to mirror the Tudor revival style of the directly across the street.

With the developer requesting to rezone the entire parcel for business — currently, a portion of the property, home to a , is zoned residential — Planner Michael Garrigan said plan commissioners are tasked with deciding what their vision is for the corner.

The village’s comprehensive plan identifies the Route 59 corridor as a business transition district (BTD), with a mix of residential and lower-impact business uses, such as offices.

“[The gas station] is not consistent with the general trend of development along the corridor,” Garrigan said, adding the corner is also important as an entrance to the village.

“The significance of the corner as a gateway of this corridor should be taken into account,” he said, explaining the location is one of two places where the Lincoln Highway and Route 66 intersect.

“What’s the plan commission’s vision?” Garrigan asked, saying members must decide whether the Route 59 corridor is to be used for business transition, or more intensive commercial developments.

Ultimately, plan commissioners decided to hold off on making a recommendation to the village board, at least until after a June 11 Committee of the Whole meeting, now designated as a joint meeting of the , plan commission and historic preservation commission.

Dozens of residents — many who own homes on Joliet Road (Route 30) and Division Street (Route 59) — turned out to hear more about the gas station plan. They also had plenty to say.

Homeowners sound off

Robert Schinderle, who lives on Newkirk Drive less than a block from the proposed gas station, spoke as a former village board member who helped craft the comprehensive plan.

“I worked my butt off to come up with a plan that would serve the Village of Plainfield for a long time,” he said. “We have been chipping away at it constantly.”

Residents also expressed concern with bringing even more traffic to the already heavily traveled intersection.

“The Go-Tane was a royal pain and it was applauded when it was torn down,” homeowner Thomas Gierich  said. “This is prime real estate, it shows what Plainfield is, and my big concern is that someone is going to get killed there.”

Highway Commissioner Sam Reichert questioned the wisdom of the proposed Route 66 attraction.

“Where would they park?” he said, referring to the motor tours that occasionally traverse the historic highway. According to Eriksson, the proposed gas station would have 16 parking spaces.

Sue Hasenyager took issue with the proposed use of an alleyway along Route 30 as a full access point for the gas station. A second entrance is proposed along Route 59.

“It welcomes people to use that alleyway for their convenience, but it disregards the safety of all of us who need to use that alley on a regular basis,” she said, saying heavy traffic already makes it difficult to turn into the alley. “You don’t know how many times I look in my rearview mirror and hope that semi will be able to stop.”

Resident Ed Arter said the proposed access points aren’t likely to be approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“There’s no way on this green earth that IDOT is letting a right in, right out on Route 59,” he said. “That is way too close to the intersection.” 

A viable project?

In the end, plan commissioners opted to wait and see what happens at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Commissioner Andrew Heinen said before making a decision, members need to know if IDOT will agree to the developer’s proposed access points.

“Is this even a viable project?” he said. “I think a traffic consultant needs to be brought on board. I don’t see this being a viable plan right now.”

Plan commissioner Richard Kiefer also expressed doubts about the proposal.

If the station were built, Keifer said, “I think we lose all the benefits that we’ve gained” from the Route 59 widening.

Commissioners agreed to continue discussion on the proposal until June 19.

The joint meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 11, at .

amy June 08, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Offer route 30 and 143rd...there is no gas stations on route 30...prime spot trucks and cars need one in that area to push more business towards route 30...
Mike Bjorklund June 08, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Since the removal of the old gas station, I've been advocating using the area as a quiet park area with park benches and trees.The tribute to Route 66 would be a nice as well. I'd hate to have another gas station clog the intersection. Don't we have enough gas stations. Would purpose would another gas station serve the community? In fact, what's going on with the proposed gas station on the Route 30 and Renwick intersection? That area is still sitting empty and I wasn't even a fan of that proposal. I live near the 30 & Frontage Road intersection and I'm still waiting for the outlet mall to come after they closed down the truck stop... that's still standing there. We need to rebuild the area, not clutter it with gas stations.
Jill S. June 08, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I wonder if the people who propose these businesses live in the area. The best thing that happened to that intersection was the removal of the gas station. Please don't put another one there.
BigFeet June 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I agree we need a gas station around 30 & 143rd, or 30 & 135th, but definitely NOT 30 & 59. Geez, what kind of impact studies did they do when they "worked their butts off" and "chipped away constantly" at this?
M2P June 08, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I don't think its a good idea. All that money spent to fix that area and to better the traffic flow will be wasted. Everyone will be stopping traffic to turn into the place or turning around in nearby drives or streets to get back to the gas staton...creating more traffic problems. There is a subway a couple blocks down already and any type of drive thru will drive more traffic to the station...again more traffic problems and most likely accidents. I think it should be an area to put a momunment or fountain with trees, flowers and sitting areas.
Ed Arter June 08, 2012 at 01:43 PM
STUPID IDEA---you will make that corner a death trap--close to one already
Steve June 08, 2012 at 02:30 PM
NO!! Why is Plainfield even entertaining this idea??? Finally, after years and years, the eyesore at this intersection is finally gone. It looks so nice as you enter our village now. Please, please, please don't allow this to happen. How about Rt. 30 and Renwick? C'mon man.........
Miguel Sanchez June 08, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Put the new gas station next to the apartment buildings being built at 127th Street. Then all the new young professionals can fill up their BMWs on their way to the theatre.
formerboss June 08, 2012 at 03:46 PM
How about a water fountain or a Rt.66 tribute.this is a perfect location for either.we don't need another gas station in town.unless you build it out west.
Tina June 08, 2012 at 04:51 PM
No gas stations,no banks and no carwashes. A small park with a fountain dedicated to RT.66 or something like that.
Blake June 08, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Bad idea for this location. Please deny this project.
Miguel Sanchez June 08, 2012 at 04:57 PM
A mural depicting Plainfield's history may look nice. Plainfield!........."Joliet's hat and Naperville's beard!"
Shannon Antinori (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I love the mural idea. I might work on the slogan a little, though. :)
British Plainfield June 08, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Plainfield needs the tax dollars and this is a much needed location for a fuel site.
T-Bone June 08, 2012 at 11:31 PM
You have a Mobil on 59/30 at 126 and one on 30 just before the 55. Have you been on the 30 after 143rd?
T-Bone June 08, 2012 at 11:39 PM
You are obviously an employee of BP! Your initials are even BP! Keep your Gas Station! We don't need it!
Ed Arter June 09, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Today the state is working in the raised median on Rt59 at Rt30 ( note to BP--that median is what the computer aided designers and highly experience state Traffic Engineers took years of traffic flow studies to give Plainfield the best option for that dangerous intersection) We all paid big tax $ to make this roadway design as safe as possible. Now ,not even a year after this median was installed, you propose to revamp this traffic controlling saftey structure to provide a full access service station drive in/thru for YOUR benefit. Don't waste our time--get out of town and go drill another Tar lake in the Gulf. Be politely advised You are the Tail and This community is the dog. BARK , BARK
Ram Seichert June 09, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Ed Arter for Plainfield Township Highway Commissioner! I'm already making up your campaign signs for next election!
Mike Keniley June 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Developing this corner with a gas station is a bad idea...plain and simple.
J Anderson June 10, 2012 at 07:17 PM
It will be shot down. If the Village doesn't want a Dunkin's Donuts at 126 and 59 because of possible traffic then no way they can go with this. There is a problem in that no one with the Village has the drive to make something better happen leaving it vacant for years as evidence of the past few years.
Mike Keniley June 12, 2012 at 04:46 PM
The proposal was discussed and sort of dismissed by a joint meeting of the village board, plan commission and historic preservation commission last evening. Hopefully, the residents will be permitted to have their say, again, in front of the Village Board, this time. The item may appear on the June 18 village board agenda.
Tracey Somers Abrams March 12, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Bravo Mike!!! No more gas stations! Lets leave a little bit of "green" space!

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