Plan Commission Votes No on Gas Station Plan

Rezoning and special use request for Route 30/Route 59 project will go before the village board next.

In the end, all seven plan commissioners came to the same conclusion regarding a proposed gas station at Route 30/Joliet Road and Route 59, voting to recommend denial of a developer’s rezoning and special use request.

“I can’t support the filling station or the drive-through,” Chairman James Sobkoviak said of the proposal, which calls for a BP station, eight fuel pumps, a 3,600-square-foot convenience store and a drive-thru such as a Dunkin’ Donuts or a Subway restaurant.

The project , who were opposed to a new gas station occupying the former site of the Go-Tane station. That station was demolished to make way for the Route 59 widening project.

Back when the Go-Tane was built, Sobkoviak said, "There wasn't one-tenth the traffic there is today." 

The vote came despite concessions made by developer G.C. Real Estate, which agreed to address safety concerns by eliminating a proposed full-access entrance on Route 59 in favor of a right in, right out. Architect Eric Eriksson said his client was also willing to eliminate a proposed shared use of an alleyway used by homeowners along Route 30, along with possibly doing away with the drive-thru.

But it wasn’t enough to sway plan commissioners — or residents.

Homeowner Ed Arter spoke up, saying adding a separate access for the gas station near the alleyway will simply create more issues.

“You’ll have three turning movements instead of one,” he said, explaining traffic could potentially be turning from southbound Route 30 into the gas station, from the gas station onto Route 30 and exiting from the alley — all at the same time.

Saying the traffic from the alley is “inconsequential,” Eriksson said the standard right in, right out was a safe option, adding that the traffic signal at Route 30 and Route 59 would slow traffic enough for vehicles to safely use the Route 30 entrance.

Judith Kachel, who lives at Route 59 and Newkirk, questioned whether drivers would use the right in, right out on Route 59 as intended, since a concrete median doesn’t extend far enough to block southbound traffic from turning into the proposed entrance.

“What is truly going to stop people coming south on Route 59 from making a left turn?” she asked. Kachel also questioned whether the drive-thru could contribute to traffic backups along Route 30 and Route 59 during busy times.

Opinion split on future of Route 59 corridor

The denial came after plan commissioners to discuss their vision for the Route 59 corridor.

Under the village’s comprehensive plan, the corridor is designated a business transition district (BTD), which favors lower-impact business uses such as offices, and encourages property owners to convert rather than demolishing homes.

Despite their unanimous vote against the gas station plan, commissioners were divided on whether the corridor should remain BTD or become a more commercialized district.

Agreeing with Sobkoviak, commissioner Ed O’Rourke said he favors keeping the area BTD.

“If you look at what commercial does to neighboring property values and to health and safety, that’s what my concern is,” O’Rourke said.

Commissioner John Renzi said envisions more commercial uses along the corridor.

“In my world it’s a commercial hub at that intersection,” Renzi said, citing the estimated 40,000 vehicles that travel through it each day. “I don’t see anyone coming in and building a business transitional building at that location for any reason.”

Commissioner Andrew Heinen was also in favor of a more intense commercial zoning for the corridor.

Since the widening of Route 59, he said, “The whole use has changed.”

Commissioner Cyndi Fulco was a supporter of leaving the area BTD, saying the character should remain the same, but she did have a request for Eriksson.

“Put it at 143rd Street and Route 30,” she joked. “That’s where we need a gas station.” 

Plan moves on to the village board

The plan commission’s decision doesn’t mean the project is dead. G.C. Real Estate’s request will still go before the village board, although Sobkoviak wasn’t certain exactly when that will happen.

Eriksson said despite the residents’ concerns, he believes the project has merit.

“It still is a very viable site for my client for a gas station,” he said.

British Plainfield June 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Route 59 was just expanded which would alleviate the traffic concerns. Call the Village Board members to support this much needed gas station. Plainfield needs a Dunkin Donuts along with all the tax dollars.
Grandpamike June 20, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Sorry, but the village does not need another gas station, or a Dunkin Donuts, what we need are higher end commercial establishments that add value to the village as a whole.
Joel Craig June 20, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Mr. Renzi, and these trustees who mentioned looking at other towns like West Dundee (really!) need only take a short trip to the "six corners" intersection in Joliet to see how that town (properly, IMO) handled a very similar situation with their corner properties when US 30 was widened there a few years ago. Let's use some good common sense and good planning here, and stop only thinking about revenue. Any new traffic situations created here will be a quality-of-life issue we'll all have to suffer for years come.
Ed Arter June 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM
42 existing gas pumps within 1/2 mile of this intersection is called dilution--not even Mcdonalds or Walgreens or Banks have a more dense application-NO gas station needed here.Further, 5 convenience stores are within 1/2 mile--Dilution again--we DO NOT need another drive thru here. I'm happy to see that the Planning Commission has their head on straight in their UNANOMUS decision to DENY this attempt by big oil to ruin our precious, historic location. Time for BP to go back to the clean up of their worst enviornmental blunder in the history of mankind and leave us alone.
TC June 20, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I have no strong feelings either way on this... I understand both sides of the argument. One thing is for sure, though... this issue now goes before the village board. The same board that voted to allow a huge apartment complex to be built at 127th and 59. Other than some tax $ for the village that the residents will see little benefit from that apartment project will mean nothing but trouble for Plainfield - trouble for traffic, for the police department and for the nearby schools. Large apartment complexes are the worst thing that can happen to a community and to welcome one when our town has been largely free of them is stupidity. Ask anyone in Woodridge, Westmont, Lisle and other mostly nice communities whose reputation has been damaged because of the problems and crime that come from one very small portion of their residents in those apartments. Somebody's pockets were lined on that deal. If there is personal gain here for board members then there will be a gas station at 30 and 59. If not, there won't.
British Plainfield June 20, 2012 at 02:17 PM
This historic location was the home of a gas station and should remain that way. The old gas station was a little run down. This new station won't look like the old one and will offer better service. Lets keep the history of Plainfield together and erect a new BP Station with a convenient Dunkin Donuts.
Olddeegee June 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Put a station out on Rt 126 past Larry's, or on Rt 30 near 143rd. Everywhere else is covered.
T-Bone June 20, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Let's hope there are some stern requirements to live in those Appartments. If they are low rent and low standards then we are looking at some problems. Naperville has a lot of Appartments that are nice but they require the renters to make 3.5x their rent in Annual Salery which is not easy to do for low income families when the rent is $1,100 per month for a 1 Bedroom. It all starts with Standards.
Miguel Sanchez June 20, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Yes, I totally agree. I will also suggest an adjacent Irish Bar and adult bookstore.
TC June 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM
T-Bone, I hope you are right and they have some sort of standard and a strict income limit. I'm skeptical this was required by the village which is the only way to keep a complex like this from going the section 8 route when they have more vacancies than they can fill.
plainfield watch June 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Go back to England British plainfield.that corner needs a gas station like we need another bank.
plainfield watch June 21, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Keep mowning about the apartment complex..its going up and I'm going to move in there and drive my monster truck and drink beer and cook red meat on the grill...cry babies.
British Plainfield June 21, 2012 at 12:36 AM
The history of that precious corner should remain the same as it always has been - a gas station.
TC June 21, 2012 at 01:06 AM
I fully believe you'll move in there pw. I have no problem with red meat and beer, either. I guess you'd better hope t-bone is wrong about the income requirements.
Miguel Sanchez June 21, 2012 at 01:13 AM
PW: What is your stance on raising chickens in apartment buildings?
plainfield watch June 21, 2012 at 01:29 AM
I'm open to it..I would draw the line with pigs they are a dirty animal.plus plainfield wont let me have a pig.as far as income requirements not worried about it I'm rich as hell.
T-Bone June 21, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Looks like it is a going trend... The Naperville City Council gave the go ahead for a developer to build a 298 unit multi-family rental community at 95th Street and Route 59
Firemanfred1921 June 21, 2012 at 02:08 AM
We could definately use another multimillion dollar interior/exterior stone and glass fire station when they keep battling us on our union contract. There's all the money in the world for capital but they can't compensate the FF/PM. This would be a better option than the BP station.
Plainfield Conservative June 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Yeah, what he said...
TC June 21, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Uh huh. Typically, people with a lot of money use the term "rich as hell." I believe you now. No way you're over 25 years old, PW.
Plainfield Conservative June 21, 2012 at 03:43 PM
You're a little slow, lol. His comment that started with "Keep mowning about the apartment complex...." should have been a dead giveaway. Seeing as students generally learn to spell the word "moaning" in about 3rd or 4th grade, you're "25 years old" estimate was v-e-r-y generous. Keep in mind that it's summer vacation and the kids are probably bored..
Ed Arter June 21, 2012 at 05:03 PM
@ Brit Pet- Please be advised that historic venues far precede the invention of gas stations--This site has documented historic values that precede the Civil War- Your opinion may be flawed in that respect. I'm happy that you agree that historic content is a primary concern--Thank you
Ram Seichert June 21, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Maybe the Village could hire Mr. Fry for $120,000 to move the memorial at Oak and Arnold to this location.
Ed Arter June 21, 2012 at 05:42 PM
@ Ram--That would be a real "Fry in the ointment". I'm sure he could do a $25,000 job for only $120,000.
Ram Seichert June 21, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I agree completely. I don't know where some of these people come up with these bids. Kind of similar to the purchasing of the homes for the Renwick bridge. All that money when they aren't worth nothin.


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