No Slam Dunk for Donut Shop Proposal

Trustees failed to approve a request to build a retail center, anchored by a Dunkin Donuts, at Route 59, Oak and Arnold Streets.

A Dunkin Donuts with a drive-thru failed to win village board approval Monday night. Credit: File photo
A Dunkin Donuts with a drive-thru failed to win village board approval Monday night. Credit: File photo
An attorney for the developer of a proposed Dunkin Donuts retail center at the "triangle" of Route 59, Oak and Arnold Streets said his client did everything he could to address concerns the project caused residents and village planners — but it wasn't enough to convince the village board on Monday night.

A motion to direct the village attorney to draft an ordinance to rezone the property from residential to business failed for lack of a second. The failed motion meant trustees did not vote on requests for a special use permit for the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru and site plan approval.

"If this doesn't develop in this fashion, it's not going to develop," attorney Mike Martin, who represents Lee Fry Companies, told the board. "It's going to sit there."

The proposal called for the 4,400-square-foot "Triangle Shoppes" retail center with a Dunkin Donuts, including a drive-thru, plus two other storefronts. 

The project drew criticism from residents, who sounded off at meetings and via the village's Vision for Division website, citing concerns about traffic and safety for residents and children at a nearby school and bus stop.

In April, the developer asked that the proposal be remanded back to the plan commission so changes could be made to address residents' concerns. A revised proposal went to the commission on May 20, and commissioners recommended the village board approve the amended plan.

On Monday, Village Planner Michael Garrigan said the biggest change was the removal of an access point on Arnold Street and a full entrance/exit on Oak Street.

The developer also agreed to place additional landscaping on Arnold Street to address concerns.

"The general configuration of the site itself has not dramatically changed," Garrigan said.

Martin, who pointed out that the development would be situated just south of the Walgreens, said other changes include the addition of arched windows and architectural elements to mirror that seen in other areas of the village.

Martin also said a local business man, who has operated similar businesses successfully, was prepared to to purchase the Dunkin Donuts.

Trustee Margie Bonuchi said while she liked the design, she thinks the location is all wrong for the development.

"I have very serious concerns with the layout of the homes," Bonuchi said, adding the development's location near Arnold Street — a narrow residential street — is a bad fit.

"This is the wrong spot for this facility and drive-thru," Bonuchi said. While the "Vision for Division" identifies the area as having a future as a business transition district (BTD) with homes converted to businesses, that's not the current reality, she said.

"It's too residential and too small for this type of facility," Bonuchi said. "It is supposed to be BTD, but it isn't today ... I cannot support this in this location," she added, saying the development would be a "traffic nightmare."

Trustee Paul Fay urged the developers to keep the entrance on Arnold and forego the one on Oak Street.

"There is a very short stretch between Arnold Street turning right off Route 59 onto Oak Street," Fay said. "[Drivers] won't see [the entrance] until they're right on top of it." 

He said the current plan creates safety hazards.

Trustee Bill Lamb, who made the motion to draft the rezoning ordinance, supported the plan.

"I'd like to see something go there that fits and looks attractive to the community," he said. "I think this could be an asset."

Martin declined to comment on the board's failure to approve the resolution.


Rod Baker Ford proposal tabled

The board also approved taking a site plan request for an expansion at Rod Baker Ford off Monday's agenda.

According to village documents, the car dealership, 16101 Joliet Rd., is proposing a 10-foot expansion of its existing showroom, along with a 10,000-square-foot new shop area.

The project would include four new offices, two new showroom entrances, and 10 new vehicle bays.

The existing parking lot to the rear of the addition would also be expanded.

dan mchugh June 07, 2014 at 06:51 PM
Remodel city hall the place is what 10 yrs old? What do they want to replace the $100.000.00 podium? Or maybe they want to erect a piece of art so when we as citizens walk out or drive out of the parking lot we could look back and see something special!!! That was what they wanted to do to North so the kids would look back and remember???? Remember what exactly? Absolute power corrupts absolutely........
Tim June 08, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Plainfierld has just cemented its reputation for a long, long time. And we all have the current village board and mayor to thank for it. What is that reputation? Read it for yourself from another story; "Commissioners say they don't get respect". "Plan Commission members are frustrated their recent recommendations are seemingly being ignored by the Village Board.". "I think that just puts egg on our face in Plainfield and gives us a bad reputation". "I, too, am somewhat dumbfounded.". "It’s been extremely frustrating for the last few months". But don't worry, the board members are not accepting any responsibility, it's obviously someone elses fault. Margie Bonuchi, undisputed back-patter, tries to place the blame elsewhere as always; "getting more documentation of the planning meetings, maybe a video, so we can really know what happened." Because DOING YOUR JOB, and actually going to these meetings in your official position is just too difficult? These people are flat out telling you they have no idea how to do their jobs as elected officials, and these are the same people that booted any competition off the ballots in order to secure their 'position', preventing you from voting for someone that might actually be able to do the job correctly. Plainfield has been on a severe downward slide to irrelevance since this PTRO group decided to make it their little kingdom and divide it up between bonuchi, peck, collins, hurtado, silosky, and every other one of these PTRO clowns that have prevented fair and open elections through their ballot antics. They have brought this dysfunction to the park board, the village board, the school district, and most likely the library board as well. Their self-serving motivations have left Plainfield with a reputation it will most likely never recover from, even long after they are gone.
Ron Jidzny June 08, 2014 at 01:13 PM
The Plan Commission should be upset. If I were Garrigan, Proulx, and Trotz, I'd be looking for new employment immediately. What a complete waste of their time and effort to work on this project and yet more of our tax dollars go right down the drink. “The vast majority of times they suggested something I’ve been in agreement with them,” Racich said. “I read what they say. I used to be on the commission and felt that way sometimes. But it’s all just a difference in interpretation.” So Jim, does 'pure silence' from you, Dan Rippy, and Mike Collins last Monday mean that you disagree with the plan commission? Does that mean you disagree to change the zoning to B3? Isn't B3 what it's going to be wind up being anyways? Guess what's going to happen when you vote to approve a zoning change to B3 a year from now for another business? Is the Village attorney sleeping up there? Cheer leading Plainfield all the time and finding a legally parked train on the railroad tracks does not make you a good leader. Saying absolutely nothing and never questioning anything is poor leadership and totally unacceptable. Even Garrett Peck made a comment. And for someone who isn't afraid to speak up on park district issues and against Canadian National following the law, I find it quite hypocritical when you sit back and do nothing when some hot issue is in your lap. Awhile back, Racich said the Park District Board was 'dysfunctional' when Peck was the Executive Director. Now it sounds like the board he sits on has the same problem.
Ron Jidzny June 10, 2014 at 05:48 PM
http://www.theherald-news.com/2014/06/09/new-lenox-village-board-considers-downtown-redevelopment/au2z3m7/ NEW LENOX – Mayor Tim Baldermann said a new developer for several spots in downtown New Lenox could attract businesses of a huge interest to the community. “Part of the reason for that – all kidding aside – is that it was designated a historical landmark and so we’re limited in what can be done with it.” “Maybe other businesses down the corridor will see what can be done and will join in on doing some improvements to their property, as well," It's time for Plainfield to stop eating what they think is a 'historical ice cream sundae' and surround the Baci building with parade barricades and tear it down. At least some other towns are 'wise' and 'clever' enough to encourage development.
Mike Scarcelli June 21, 2014 at 10:06 AM
As one of the adjacent property owners, I have made most of my comments directly to the Plan Commissioners, Village Trustees, and the Mayor. Also, I used the Vision for Division website that was reopened for public comments. I've utilized this forum just a couple of times. Now that the proposed development has been rejected, I feel the need to comment again. First, I appreciate the fact that the Board members and Mayor recognized the negative impact this proposed development would have had on the area as a whole, not just my property. Next, I feel that rejecting the 'wrong' development for this parcel, instead of approving something, just to see if it would work, was the right decision. Also, I don't understand the negative tone, overall, of so many comments about the Village Board. At the same time they're criticized for 'chasing' business away, new businesses are announced (Ross for Less, Sovereign, Shrimp Barn). Then, negative comments about these new businesses begin. In addition, the public requested making meetings available on the web. After this was accomplished, there were complaints about it. There are more examples, but I've made my point. Finally, I believe in constructive criticism, but there needs to be balance. I urge more residents to use this forum to praise our elected officials and staff, rather than just bashing them. I personally want to thank them for their time and effort.


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