There was standing room only at Tuesday’s meeting of the Frankfort Village Board of Trustees, as residents of the 95th Avenue and Cambridge Court neighborhood came to voice their opposition to a proposed rezoning project during the call for public comments.
Currie Motors Ford of Frankfort proposed a parking lot expansion to the village plan commission at a meeting on Jan. 10. The project would require the rezoning of two residential lots on 95th Avenue as commercial property.
“It’s going to definitely change the quality of my life,” said Keith Weyker, who lives next to the site of the proposed parking lot.
Weyker said that when he purchased his house in 1999, four residential properties stood between his home and the nearest commercial land.
All lots immediately south of the proposed parking area are zoned residential.
Several residents expressed a variety of concerns about the project during Tuesday’s public comments. These included worries regarding light and air pollution, maintaining traffic safety and the economic impact that the project could have on local real estate values.
“We cannot stand to lose 10-20 percent of the value of our homes,” said Cambridge Court resident Diane Cullen.
A large number of local homeowners also attended the Jan. 10 plan commission meeting to state their disapproval for the project.
Community members have since collected 140 signatures for a petition to demonstrate their opposition. Village Administrator Jerry Ducay said he has received approximately 25 emails from residents about the rezoning.
Homeowners made it clear at Tuesday’s meeting that they took issue, not only with the Currie Ford proposal, but also with the village protocol surrounding the project, specifically concerning resident notification about nearby development changes.
“I get tired of asking the village for things,” said area resident Joannell Williams. “All I get is promises … I think our children need more than a promise.”
This concern surrounding village procedure stems in part from the board’s decision to approve additions to Currie’s parking availabilities in July of last year.
Prior to the July approval, the site of the new parking lot was zoned residential. One resident who spoke on Tuesday said the July decision steamrolled the homeowners and that only a handful of residents knew about the proposal before it was approved.
Cullen said she was upset that many residents only learned about the latest proposed rezoning two weeks ago.
“This board takes any rezoning very seriously,” said Frankfort Mayor Jim Holland.
The residents requested that the plan commission public hearing for the proposal, which was previously scheduled for Feb. 14, be pushed back to allow homeowners the opportunity to prepare a formal case of opposition to present to the commission.
Village representatives agreed to postpone the discussion until the plan commission session on Feb. 28 to provide the residents with time to prepare their case.
Trustee Kevin Egan offered his advice to the community members in attendance.
“Please pay attention to the process,” he said. “Walk through it carefully. Paint your picture well.”
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