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Village Vision News

Some parcels to be rezoned near Menards

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A recent issue that has caught the attention of residents is the possible re-zoning of several parcels of land from R-1 (single family residential) to C-1 (commercial). The parcels are located on the west side of Route 51 going north from Weaver Road, dotting their way along the highway and wrapping around Forsyth Parkway to the north and rear of Menards.

Parcel 1 is the largest of these, and it sits directly behind a number of houses located on Christopher Drive. If you live on that street, particularly on the eastern portion of it, one of your great concerns would be what the future might bring to that expanse of farm field that comes right up to your backyard.

Other residents directly affected by amending the current zoning map are those who live on Park Place Drive or Forsyth Parkway, both near Menards.

Subdivisions most impacted by the pending decision have been well represented by residents at recent meetings, including the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Aug. 22.

According to the Forsyth Zoning Ordinance, it is this commission’s responsibility to review the zoning map for accuracy on an annual basis so that the map may be updated each year and published in a manner required by the Illinois Revised Statutes. Chair of the commission, Bill Busbey, told those in attendance that the intent of the meeting was to begin the review process and make recommendations to trustees.

Part of the impetus for re-zoning these parcels also comes from recent recommendations from consultant Mike Hoffman of TESKA Associates, whose opinion is that developers considering Forsyth as a place to bring a business would want to see property already zoned commercial rather than it be zoned residential. Hoffman recommended that the village be proactive and change the zoning now for the parcels on Route 51 for potential development in the future.

Some of the concerns spoken about by residents during public comments have been environmental — aesthetics, lighting and noise levels were mentioned as concerns, especially noise from delivery trucks. Crime possibly rising with new commercial development was another concern for one resident. The need for an effective berm or buffer between homes and any new development was expressed by several who spoke.

In the end, the commission’s recommendations for the board were to amend all parcels from R-1 to C-1, except for the farmland directly adjacent to Christopher Drive known as Parcel No. 1.

The full board met Sept. 16, and the issue was on the agenda. The board chose to vote on the two parcels — 1 and 4 — that would have the most impact on homeowners separately.

After public comments and much discussion among trustees, the decision was to support all recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission with one exception: In addition to leaving Parcel No. 1 as residential (as Planning and Zoning recommended), the board also voted to leave Parcel No. 4 as residential.

The reason for the board voting that way was simple to Busbey: “Because the residents wanted it that way,” he said.

“It’s our job to listen to the public no matter what a consultant says,” Trustee Bob Rasho said.

There was also this: Trustee Bob Gruenewald pointed out there’s been no request from Parcel No. 1’s owner for a change in the zoning.

“It eventually will go commercial — it’s on the main highway,” Gruenewald said. “But, the current owner is not asking for it to be re-zoned. The owner has no plans. There’s no need to push it.”

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