Several years ago when expanded its south parking area, residents voiced strong concerns, mainly about lighting.
The worked extensively with Curtis Pascarella, owner of Phillips Chevrolet, to alleviate their concerns. Since that time, Zach Brown, senior planner for the village said he's not been made aware of any outstanding complaints.
Regarding the new planned expansion to the north presented to the Village of Frankfort Plan Commission at its regular meeting Thursday, Brown said: "Curtis' intention and ours was to address any neighbor concerns on the front end."
During the workshop session on May 12, the plan commission reviewed the initial plans and specs for lighting, fencing, drainage and landscaping.
Brown noted that, while he has requested Pascarella consider more decorative fencing, the dealership owner feels that chain link provides greater security. His plans, however, include privacy slats installed on the section of fence that abuts neighbors to the north, along with new landscaping on the north side of the fence.
Brown also noted that the business still deals with a lot of break-ins, with thieves targeting air bags because they are easy to get out of vehicles and can be resold for a high profit.
As for lighting, the new lights will be on 25-foot poles and will be a shoebox style set at a 90-degree angle, which means that all light shines directly down, not out.
Drainage for the newly asphalted parking area will be directed to a retention pond sized for the corresponding volume of water runoff. The pond will eventually drain into an existing creek at a controlled rate, said Brown. Pascarella plans to add native plants to the retention pond, as well.
Brown indicated that a public hearing will be held as plans proceed and encouraged the plan commission to be be very specific in granting improvements only for the 2.5 acres included in the current request, not the entire 12 acre-parcel adjacent to the dealership.
Furthermore, Brown clarified, part of those 12 acres lies in a flood plain, which limits the direction and extent to which Phillips Chevrolet can expand on that land.
In other Plan Commission business, commissioners:
- Unanimously approved a recommendation for a special use permit for a full service restaurant with liquor sales, as well as a special use permit for construction of an outdoor seating area at the new Fajitas (formerly Los Cabos), located at 19941-43 LaGrange Road, Frankfort.
Walter Narsolis, who owns and operates two other Fajitas restaurants, said that customers really enjoy having an outdoor seating area and that he will only permit smoking outdoors at tables 15' or farther from the door, per Illinois law. He anticipates his outdoor area will hold 20-30 patrons, while indoor seating will accommodate 50-55.
- Unanimously approved a recommendation for a special use permit for accessory liquor sales for at 11129 W. Lincoln Highway, Frankfort, with the conditions of not building a sit down bar and only allowing indoor consumption, even though an outdoor seating area currently exists.
- Unanimously approved a recommendation for a fence height variance for the Varizi residence at 10809 Swallow Tail Lane, Frankfort. The corner lot has frontage along Swallow Tail and 108th Avenue, and other properties to the south already have 5-foot high fences along 108th Avenue.
Brown reported he only had one call from a neighbor about the public hearing, who had no concerns about the variance once Brown explained the situation. The new fence will be 5-foot high all around and constructed of wrought iron.
Plan commission recommendations will be brought before the village board at the May 16 meeting. For more information, contact the Village at (815) 469-2196.