Two advisory bodies have sent along split votes on a proposed use for property at the southwest corner of North Second Street and Wallace Avenue.

It is a two-fold issue.

The first request is for an amendment to the zoning map, changing the designation from multi-family residential to commercial general. The second request is for a special use permit to allow an open sales lot on the parcel. That would include an auto repair business along with a used car dealership.

First stop was the planning and zoning commission (P&Z) at its Jan. 22 meeting. Commissioners were divided 3-3 on both the zoning map amendment and issuance of a special use permit. That meant the matter will move forward to the village board, at Monday night’s meeting, without a recommendation. The same is true of the special use permit.

This was the first P&Z meeting for Commissioner Scott Heidemann, whose appointment by Mayor Steve Johnson recently was confirmed by the village board.

Next up was the planning and economic development committee (PED), which voted 3-2-1 on Feb. 5 in in favor of the requests.

Residents spoke against the proposals at both meetings. At P&Z, a petition signed by 38 residents from 28 different addresses in the vicinity was presented to the commission. Addresses were on Wallace, Sycamore, Shoreland and North Second Street.

Six residents spoke to the issue, saying this was a residential area and that a multi-family development, or professional offices, would be a more suitable use. Concern was expressed about the impact on property values, safety of children should there be increased traffic and about additional congestion at the North Second – Wallace intersection.

The owner of apartment buildings to the south said he was concerned about light and noise his tenants would be subjected to, should an auto repair and auto dealership be constructed there. While a number of residents hoped the applicant would have a successful business, they didn’t think that was the correct location.

Some commissioners were sympathetic to resident concerns and thought the proposed use was too intense for this location. Others believed this location was destined for commercial development, which is consistent with the village’s comprehensive plan, and would not impact the neighborhood because there already are commercial uses to the north and west.

2 new companies

Later in the evening it only took the village board 12 minutes to conduct the people’s business.

Community Development Director James Richter II announced that two new businesses had relocated to space at North Second Street and Illinois 173, previously occupied by Coca-Cola Distributing.

One is Nature Scape, occupying 11,000 square feet, with 15 employees retained or relocated to this location. The company is moving here from Rockford.

The other is

Read the rest of this article in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal.