Industrial buildings likely to be built on former driving range in Libertyville
The target greens, tees and traps of the long-idled driving range portion of the Libertyville Sports Complex are on track to be replaced with two industrial/warehouse buildings.
Village trustees earlier this week unanimously accepted a report from the advisory plan commission -- a critical action that foreshadows the approval April 12 of ordinances officially allowing Midwest Industrial Funds to proceed.
The plan commission voted 4-3 recommending approval. Dissenters were concerned with the size and other aspects of the proposed development at Route 45 and Peterson Road.
Midwest Industrial Funds, an Oak Brook-based real estate investment and development firm, plans two buildings totaling 334,000 square feet south of the indoor sports complex, which is being leased from the village by Canlan Sports.
They would be built on a speculative basis with the size and number of tenants to be determined.
The village board vote followed about three hours of discussion that included an overview of the property and plan elements.
As they did at a marathon plan commission hearing last month, several residents targeted noise, truck traffic and resulting air and water pollution and stormwater runoff into Bull Creek as potential problems.
"This area should be developed, but I think there are better options," Erin Stout, who described herself as a third-generation Realtor, told the board. "There's no shortage of giant warehouses."
Trustees agreed those were serious considerations but said the proposal had been intensely vetted and the final plan conformed with the original concept presented more than two years ago.
Officials also emphasized the need to reduce village debt by selling the unused property for development.
Mayor Donna Johnson also noted the proposed use was permitted under the zoning classification and the developer was not seeking any changes.
"We've got to keep that in mind from a legal perspective, despite all the other things we're concerned about," she said.
Residents had submitted a petition against a "truck terminal" at the site. But that is not an allowed use under the zoning, according to John Spoden, community development director.
Officials said the developers have gone beyond requirements to minimize potential stormwater issues and will improve existing conditions. The water storage area is being greatly expanded, and measures will be taken to reduce the flow of water into Bull Creek, according to the plan.
Stormwater issues throughout town are the result of poor engineering practices of the past, said Trustee Matthew Krummick.
"I've seen the practice of modern stormwater management increase over time, and I think that's only going to be a benefit for residents" in the unincorporated Bull Creek subdivision, he said.
Unloading the property to reduce outstanding debt on the sports complex is a priority for the village. Two of the three features of the original 48-acre sports complex didn't perform as expected and for years have been a drain on village finances.
Midwest will pay the village more than $3.22 million pending approval April 12 and other details. Construction would take about nine months with completion expected late this year or in the first quarter of 2023.