A coalition of three homeowners groups in Lake Forest plan to voice their opposition to a proposed car wash at the busy intersection of Waukegan and Everett Roads during a Plan Commission Hearing on Wednesday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Lake Forest City Hall.
Waterway Wash and Gas Company, headquartered in in Chesterfield, MO, is petitioning the City of Lake Forest for a Special Use Permit to build a gas station, car wash and retail store at the southeast corner of the busy intersection. Three densely populated subdivisions, with over 100 single-family homes, would be impacted by this project. Two of the subdivisions are within 20 feet of the proposed fueling stations and car wash facility.
“Car washes and fueling stations can be very disruptive to local homeowners,” says Rudiger Schwarz, a Lake Forest Chateau homeowner. “For starters, they include underground fuel storage and hazardous waste. Then there is the noise and light associated with the operation and marketing of this type of business. Service stations depend heavily on brightly lit signs that include multi-perimeter light poles. Tunnel car washes also use very loud blowers to pre-dry the cars. Both the lighting and blowers will emit a great amount of light and noise in the surrounding residential areas.” Furthermore, studies have shown that property values diminish when they border a commercial enterprise like the one Waterway is proposing.
In addition to the residents’ concerns over air, light, waste, and noise pollution, the bigger concern for the entire city of Lake Forest is the increased congestion at an already dangerous intersection. According to the City’s own statistics, there are an average of 14 crashes per year at that intersection. During rush hour and especially when the crossing gates are down for the more than 70 trains that run across Everett Road, cars are already backed up for blocks. “Imagine adding a busy gas, car wash and retail facility to this already accident-prone intersection,” says the Villas homeowner, Mary Houston, “During peak hours, traffic will extend way beyond the proposed property, creating safety and environmental issues for residents both walking and driving along Waukegan and Everett Roads, including drivers entering and leaving St. Mary’s School and St. Patrick’s Church, across the street.”
The homeowners coalition, made up of neighbors from Colony Square, The Villas and Lake Forest Chateau developments, are wondering why this expansion is even being considered. “In the early 1990s, an Amoco Oil gas station sought to add a car wash at this exact location and was refused,” notes Mary Kozitka. Residents want to ask the Planning Commission what has changed. “If anything, the intersection has become even busier since then,” she says.
To learn more, contact Jill Kaz at 847.508.0040 or [email protected] Neighbors are also welcome to voice their concerns at the Plan Commission Public Hearing on Wednesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm at City Hall, 220 E. Deerpath Road, 2nd floor, in Lake Forest.
Jill Kaz on behalf of the homeowners coalition 0f neighbors from Colony Square, The Villas and Lake Forest Chateau developments in Lake Forest
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