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  1. There are plenty of gas stations in town. The traffic that Car wash will cause will be a mess. There can’t be a wash and a gas station there. Put a car wash alone and detail center which would work. No gas. Then the building can be set back further away from the residences with the noise concern and the stacking traffic will work.

  2. Mr. Miller’s suggestion that the people who oppose the gas station simply buy out the current owners and set up a quiet “tea room” on that site is interesting. Taken to its logical conclusion, this is an argument for doing away with all zoning, as Mr. Sachs points out. Laissez-faire! Not happy with your Nth-generation civic-minded neighbor planning to set up a casino next door? Don’t complain, just buy them out!

    Given that: (i) we do have zoning laws; (ii) a special use permit is being requested for the proposed use of this property; (iii) a lot of the neighbors seem to have legitimate objections to this particular use for this property; (iv) the owners of the property need to get a return on their investment; and (v) the city could potentially use the sales tax gains which otherwise will go to our less-picky neighbors.
    Given all that, here is my suggestion to make everybody (less un)happy: Move the proposed Chase bank on the old McDonald’s property to this location and set up the proposed gas station at that site, away from residential areas. Bonus: with a gas station next to it, hopefully more business will flow to the shops at Forest Square bringing even more sales tax dollars to the city! If this is not feasible, the City Council should simply not allow a car wash and allow just a gas station at the current site (as before). The property’s civic-minded owners hopefully will accept a smaller tangible ROI ($) in return for a much larger intangible ROI (grateful neighbors).

    • Or just put a car wash and detail center only so the stacking isn’t bad and the setbacks won’t affect the neighbors as much.

  3. This site had a gas station here previously, so that it would not be a shock to see another here again, though with more to sell to make the site viable–the car wash. The City Council would have reached this conclusion whether or not it was a local investor. Perhaps it was only a local investor who was willing to provide this in-town amenity to the west side community. From the City’s perspective, sales tax gains will cut into revenue lost to the Costco station outside Lake Forest. If all those petition signers were truly concerned they could organize their own investor pool and buy out the current owner, then put up their own tea room, or whatever low-impact amenity they chose–once they dealt with the EPA restrictions on the site from its previous use as a filling station. That is the beauty of the capitalist system. I suspect there are west side residents who would use the station and car wash. We hope so. The owner, a fourth generation local resident of a family with a stellar record here of civic responsibility, is taking the risk.

    The neighbors for the east side car wash include the Deerpath Inn, recently restored, and south Oakwood condo buildings. Property values in those buildings may be down, along with other local values tied to the sluggish state economy and now the removal of deductibility of property taxes. The car wash doesn’t seem to be a factor. I appreciate the willingness of the owner to invest and of the City Council to support this long-time predictable return of an historic use to this corner.

    • “The owner, a fourth generation local resident of a family with a stellar record here of civic responsibility, is taking the risk.”

      What the deuce? Those equally pedigreed, stellar families of West Lake Forest with storied records of civic responsibility who oppose this ridiculous, non-conforming mini-mart/car wash/gas station behemoth are those most at risk by the action of the City Council. The City Council is overlooking the substantial evidence that this project will only bring unreasonable amounts of noise, light and air pollution, increased traffic hazards and no net gain to the City coffers, while at the same time, destroying the neighborhood. Not very sporting, old chap.

      Those opposing the Waterway project have overwhelming evidence, including expert engineering and real estate testimony, presented at at least two meetings, together with hundreds of neighbor petitions against this non-conforming use. The City Council chamber is packed, with residents spilling down the stairs and out the door during these meetings. But for their trouble, these stellar West Side families are given the high hat.

      The equally stellar newcomer, Monsignor Dempsey, new pastor at St. Patrick’s, directly across the street from the proposed project, has testified eloquently regarding the grave detriment this project will have on his ministry and stellar West Side flock: lights, noise, air pollution, increased traffic 16 hours a day during Masses, funerals and other daily services, as well as the increased traffic danger to school children attending St. Mary’s Primary Grade Center on the St. Pat’s campus. He, too, like his West Side neighbors, was ignored, possibly for being a cheeky Irish upstart and not a fourth generation East Lake Forest resident with ties to higher, albeit secular, powers.

      Dear Fourth-Generation Property Owner with a Stellar Record of Civic Responsibility: What ever happened to noblesse oblige? Withdraw the project and be done with it!

    • Mr. Miller,

      Your response says in effect zoning is worthless. Why have government? Everyone should pack up, go home because a public purpose is a secondary purpose. The car wash has little nobility and less need. Since BP closed more stations and car washes added to the supply of those services. It speaks for itself which is reflecting poorly for Lake Forest. No need. Terrible eye appeal. City Council sets a low bar of code enforcement in a most high handed way. No way to gloss over this conflict.

  4. Don’t forget us. The small group of homes on N. Elm Rd. In unincorporated Lake Forest who also oppose the development.

  5. As residents of Lake Forest for over 28 years we are deeply disturbed by the decisions and actions of individuals elected to act in the best interests of our city. The questionable use of large sums of money, the actions taken without proper oversight and the complete disregard for residents of west Lake Forest are indicative of a lack of care and concern for a large segment of the city. Decisions about a proposed gas station, car wash and mini-mart without consulting the residents of the area is unconscionable and cannot be tolerated from those entrusted to serve the needs of ALL Lake Forest citizens. In an area already impacted by frequent freight trains, heavy traffic at the train station and school buses carefully negotiating narrow roads impacts everyone in close proximity to the intersection of Waukegan Road and Everett Road. A local government body that truly represents its residents must demonstrate a genuine concern for the quality of life of ALL residents of Lake Forest.

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