Developer Asks To Punt To Dec. 6 Glenview Village Board Meeting On Willows Crossing Plans

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Developer Asks To Punt To Dec. 6 Glenview Village Board Meeting On Willows Crossing Plans

Left Turns Onto Pfingsten A Major Concern; Trustees Skeptical Of Proposed Look Back Provision

By

Tom Robb

|
on
November 23, 2022

Attorney Hall Frank (at podium), representing GW Properties, developers of the proposed Willows Crossing Shopping Center on the southwest corner of Willow and Pfingsten roads, discusses the developer’s position on revisions made to their proposal at the Tuesday, Nov. 15 Glenview Village Board meeting with GW executives seated behind him. (Tom Robb/Journal photo)

For a second time, developers with GW Properties saw they did not have the votes necessary to support the Willows Crossing Shopping Center at the Tuesday, Nov. 15 Glenview Village Board meeting, instead asking to make revisions and come back with revised plans Dec. 6.
The same thing happened at the Oct. 18 village board meeting when GW officials saw they did not have the needed votes to pass their site plan and rezoning proposal, asking to have the proposal tabled until the next meeting while offering to make changes and return with a revised plan. The shopping center is proposed for the southwest corner of Willow and Pfingsten roads.
Several trustees used football analogies, saying the proposal was “in the red zone” or “on the goal line” but said it was not quite there.
At the end of the Nov. 15 meeting, at about 9:30 p.m. after several hours of discussion, Village President Mike Jenny Jenny said, “I could make an analogy to Charlie Brown and Lucy (in which Lucy continually sets and pulls a football just as Charlie goes to kick it, causing him to fall). How will this be different? I don’t want to keep having groundhog day.”
GW officials came back from the Oct. 18 meeting to the Nov. 15 meeting with revised plans after the item was continued from the Tuesday, Nov. 1 meeting. Village trustees complained they only received the updated plan with changes a few days before the Nov. 15 meeting.
“In spite of a full month (to make revisions) the public only saw this plan in the last 48 hours,” Village Trustee Adam Sidoti said.
Attorneys for GW said they made some adjustments to the plan but were not able to accommodate everything trustees wanted. Attorneys showed graphics of changes made since initial proposals dating back to January 2020.
Discussing the revised plan, village trustees still had concerns, primarily about access out of the shopping center from Pfingsten.
The proposed plan showed a right-in and right-out at entrances on Willow and Pfingsten roads. The entrance on Pfingsten was proposed to also allow a left turn out. At the Oct. 18 meeting trustees suggested a time restriction on left turns onto Pfingsten during rush hour.
GW returned to the Nov. 15 meeting with a proposal to allow the left turn out without time restrictions but allowing for a “look back” where after one year, if the intersection were problematic, time restrictions on left turns could be added. They argued drivers attempting U-turns or other measures to get back to the direction they want to travel could be more dangerous than allowing the left turn.
“I’m not willing to wait for a tragedy to look back,” Trustee Gina DeBoni said.
“We don’t need to address a problem that doesn’t exist,” GW Principal Mitch Goltz said addressing the left turn question.
DeBoni said allowing the left turn out of Pfingsten was “a deal breaker” for her.
Sidoti had a list of concerns he expressed, which were not adequately addressed in the revised plan, including the left out on Pfingsten, and inadequate setbacks from neighbors to the west of the development. Sidoti acknowledged that revised plans did increase the berm height separating neighbors from the development from seven to 10 feet.
Trustee Chuck Gitles said, “I’m closer (with revisions) but not over the goal line.”
“I love elements of this (development) but struggle with the traffic piece,” Trustee Mary Cooper said.
Continuing the football analogy, Jim Bland also said the proposal is “in the red zone,” adding, “I hoped to get to yes,” but ultimately said, “I’m a no.”
Trustee Tim Doron said, “My concern is neighbors to the south and west. I want to make sure neighbors who have been through years of this are made whole.”
GW Properties closed on the sale of the property after village trustees approved plans several years ago. Lawsuits then reversed zoning from the 1980s which allowed the property to remain R-1 residential but allowed it to be sold with business zoning back to R-1. After that ruling in the appellate court, village trustees rejected an earlier proposal for the property.
A GW lawsuit is challenging the village’s rejection of earlier plans. During discussion at the Nov. 15 meeting, several trustees said they “are not afraid” of the lawsuit.

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November 24, 2022 at 04:46PM

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