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Residents voice concerns about plan for Oswego car wash

Delta Sonic is looking to put a car wash and gas station in Oswego. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

A group of nearby residents are not happy with a proposal to build a car wash near Route 34 and Kendall Point Drive in Oswego.

Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems is seeking approval to build the facility, which would include a gas station and convenience store on a 10.25-acre site in the Steeplechase development.

Preliminary plans and a special use permit for the project were given approval in a 4 to 1 vote recently by the Oswego Planning and Zoning Commission.

Voting yes were Dominick Cirone, Ken Holmstrom, Charles Pajor and Rebecca Stine, while Rick Kuhn voted the other way. The group’s recommendation for approval will now go to the Village Board for a final vote.

About 70 residents from Steeplechase at Country Club Hill, an age restricted community nearby, attended the meeting. The subdivision, located south of the proposed development, was built from 2005 to 2008 and has 212 duplexes and single-family residences.

Several residents voiced concerns about traffic spilling over from the car wash into the subdivision. A Kendall Point Drive full access drive at the site, they said, would allow motorists to travel into the subdivision. They also questioned the rationale of allowing another car wash in the village.

Resident Cora Lienert was concerned how the project could potentially impact air-quality for homeowners in the area.

"We live in a 55 and over community with a number of people who have health issues … heart issues, asthma and other respiratory issues. Is this going to affect us and our quality of life?" Lienert said.

"Oswego deserves growth in the community. (But) the village needs more than a car wash and gas station …we don’t need more mattress firms either," Lienert said.

Resident Carol Latina also was not sure Oswego needed another car wash.

"How did the village decide that a Delta Sonic would be a preferred choice for Oswego citizens and consumers?" Latina asked.

Latina said the Oswego area already has 13 oil change stores, 17 gas stations and in Oswego alone there are 11 convenience stores. She also questioned the location.

"How does the village reconcile the incompatibility of a 55 and older community with Delta Sonic?" she said.

Delta Sonic’s plans include a 9,200-square foot convenience store, a fueling station with 16 pumps, a 9,300-square-foot express detailing building, a 6,750-square-foot oil and lube facility, a 9,500-square-foot car wash and a 13,725-square-foot vacuum facility.

The car wash facility would be located along the east property line and would be fully enclosed, village officials said. The car wash would operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. through 7 p.m. Sunday.

A prep building would be the closest structure to the residents to the south, roughly 600 feet from the nearest residential structure, village officials said.

A convenience store/gas station with a small drive-up restaurant would be located on Route 34 near the intersection with Kendall Point Drive. The gas pumps would be located along Route 34. The store and station would operate 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and open a little later on weekends.

James Boglioli, the attorney representing Delta Sonic, said the company did a traffic study for the site.

"This use would be less intensive than what could go in. The car wash has reduced hours of operation as opposed to a grocery store or other commercial use," Boglioli said.

The car wash/gas station is expected to generate approximately 500 vehicles during a weekday and 900 vehicles on a weekend. The majority of the cars and trucks would enter and exit along Route 34 to the north, he said.

The developer’s traffic engineer said a 50,000-square-foot grocery store on the site would generate higher volumes of traffic. They said car washes and gas stations typically draw customers from existing traffic during morning and evening peak hours. They said a grocery store could generate 500 vehicles during peak hours.

The developer submitted a sound map as well as part of the proposal.

"We have over 25 car washes — we know exactly what produces noise. From the neighbor’s yards, we are below the village’s noise ordinance," Boglioli said.

The village allows for 60 decibels during the day and 55 decibels at night at the property line of residential property. The sound map shows a sound level of 57.7 decibels at the residential property line, he said.

Boglioli said the buildings "would not be like typical commercial buildings."

"The entire building is brick and glass," he said.

The developer said they have agreed to meet the village’s landscaping requirements and they would install a 6-foot stockade fence along the south border of the site. The attorney said they would monitor the left-out traffic from Kendall Point Drive as well.

Plan commissioners recommended approval of the plans with the idea the developer would continue to study the need to limit left-hand turns from Kendall Point Drive from the site.

"You are probably disappointed by what we did. I think the majority of us feel we did what was best for the village," said Pajor, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Dale Christenson, who lives in Steeplechase, was not convinced the company would adjust access to the site due to traffic levels.

"They are going to monitor (traffic) and I am the Easter Bunny," Christenson said after the meeting.

Linda Girardi is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News