Controversial gas station plan progresses again in Mundelein

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Despite substantial opposition from neighboring residents, the Mundelein Village Board of Directors moved closer on Monday to the green light for a project to build a gas station and convenience store in the northern part of the village.

By asking village workers to draft ordinances for a trio of requested building code waivers regarding lighting, fence height and building location, administrators paved the way for the construction of Thorntons Station proposed at the northeast corner of routes 45 and 176.

The approximately 2.8 acre site sits at one of the busiest entry points to the village. The former Original Omega restaurant and a vacant industrial building are now on the land, and both are said to be razed.

The developer, Northbrook-based GMX Real Estate Group, initially launched a gas station plan last year, but pulled it from consideration earlier this year after neighboring residents and the planning commission and zoning authorities have expressed concerns about traffic, the environment and other issues.

GMX submitted a revised proposal to city hall last month. The changes included a smaller convenience store and the elimination of diesel service stations for large trucks.

The planning commission voted last week to recommend that the village council approve the requested changes to the building code.

But the changes weren’t good enough for more than a dozen Mundelein residents who spoke out against the plan at Monday’s village board meeting.

Some voiced concerns about potential environmental impacts, while others said a station would hurt property values.

A speaker, Elizabeth Johnson, said GMX created its own difficulties by purchasing the land knowing that a gas station would not follow village codes.

Mayor Steve Lentz praised critics for their passion for the issue, but said some rumors and letters circulated about the project were “misleading” and “spurious”.

Lentz called for a public apology. None came.

The proposed draft ordinances concerning the location of buildings and lighting were adopted by 5-1, administrator Kara Lambert voting the only “no”.

The proposal to write an ordinance allowing a higher fence than usual was adopted unanimously.

Votes on the ordinances themselves could take place next month.


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