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Stop Annexation and Rezoning of Property in Glen Ellyn Woods
Petition Background (Preamble):
The owner of the property is seeking to change the zoning from a single-family residence to a commercial space. I am writing to express my opposition to this.
The two properties in question are separated from the Village of Glen Ellyn by land that is owned by Glenbard School District 87. The Village has an annexation agreement with Arden Court, therefore, if District 87 agreed, both Arden Court and the home at 3 S. 010 Park Blvd. could be annexed immediately. At the meeting on Aug. 15, the Glen Ellyn Board of Trustees decided to initiate discussions with School District 87- to see if the school district would be willing to allow a strip of their land to be annexed to Glen Ellyn.
Although annexation may be presented by the Glen Ellyn Village Board as being a decision with little consequence, this is an extremely important issue for both Glen Ellyn and the residents of Glen Ellyn Woods (the neighborhood on the SW corner of Park & Butterfield). I currently serve as Vice-President of the Glen Ellyn Woods Civic Association, which was actually created 28 years ago to stop the rezoning of the very same property. Most of the residents continue to oppose annexing to Glen Ellyn and rezoning, and a petition is being circulated to support this.
The District 87 School Board has not been in favor of allowing any of the school property being annexed in the past.
By far, the most important reasons against annexing or rezoning are these safety issues:
· Rezoning would increase traffic congestion on the public streets and decrease traffic flow. Traffic congestion is already great on this section of Park Blvd.
· Last year, Morton Arboretum completed a multi-million dollar renovation by relocating its main entrance gate and 3 parallel entry lanes to be located at Park Blvd. & Rt. 53. During peak attendance times, traffic flow is restricted and entry into Glen Ellyn Woods can take over 15 minutes. Since these major changes have occurred only recently, the Village of Glen Ellyn was unable to take these developments into account when creating the Comprehensive Plan in 2001.
· Park Blvd. is also the main access road to College of DuPage, where all of the 34,000 students who attend the school must commute each day. This greatly adds to the congestion.
· Glen Ellyn Woods is a "land-locked" neighborhood, as Park Blvd. is the only access road to the neighborhood. Already, at peak traffic times, traffic is backed up on both sides of Park Blvd. prohibiting entry to the homes. Additional traffic may even further prevent police, fire, and other emergency vehicles from gaining access to the citizens in the event of an emergency.
· The property is currently served by the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District, which is rated a Class 1 Rating by the ISO (it is only one of only a few districts in the country to earn this highest possible rating). The Village of Glen Ellyn, with an all-volunteer fire department, has a rating by the ISO of 4. In Glen Ellyn's Plan it states, "The Department operates 2 fire stations While the 2 stations provide adequate service to the community at the present time, major new development near Butterfield Road might require new or expanded facilities in the future." These facts demonstrate that to annex any properties in Glen Ellyn Woods would be to disregard the safety and wellbeing of the residents.
· The 3 streets surrounding the property are under 3 different jurisdictions. Butterfield Road (a major arterial street) is under the jurisdiction of the state of Illinois; Park Blvd. (a minor arterial street) is under the jurisdiction of DuPage County; and Hackberry Dr. (a local street) is under the jurisdiction of Milton Township. The number of accidents that already occur at the intersection of Park Blvd. and Butterfield Road exceeds 40 per year, with most of these accidents being considered "serious." Annexation would require detailed traffic studies and a concrete plan for assuring the safety of the nearby residents. Glen Ellyn's Police Chief Phil Norton has also expressed concerns about the increased burden annexing would place on the Police Department due to the high accident rate at this intersection. The Police Chief has stated that additional police officers would need to be hired in order to respond to the traffic safety issues that occur at this major intersection.
· Another safety concern is that Glenbard South High School is less than 250 feet away from the property, and most of the students in our neighborhood walk to school. There are no sidewalks along Park Blvd. or Hackberry Dr., and additional traffic would endanger the students who need to walk to and from school daily. At lunch-time and after school, many of these same students walk to 7-Eleven, which faces the property in question on Park Blvd. The new school directory shows that there are 53 students in Glen Ellyn Woods who attend Glenbard South - and as Park Blvd. is the only street accessing our neighborhood, all 53 students travel on Park Blvd., past the home in question, twice a day.
According to the Glen Ellyn Zoning Code, any proposed Map Amendment must meet several criteria - this property does not meet any of the conditions required for rezoning.
· The property and all of the others in the general area (off the SW corner of Park Blvd. & Butterfield Rd.) are all zoned R-4 single family residential. The property has never been zoned for commercial use. Rezoning the property is in direct conflict with DuPage County's Comprehensive Plan for Development (DuPage County's long-range plan is to keep the property zoned residential).
· The property has never been vacant as it is zoned - meaning that the taxes have always been paid and no zoning change has ever been applied for through DuPage County - this demonstrates that the property is suitable for the uses permitted under the current zoning classification.
· There is no difficulty or hardship for the owner of the property to leave it as it is currently zoned. The owner has never advertised the property for sale as a single-family home; and the property is suitable as residential space (as demonstrated by the many families that live on the North East corner of Park & Butterfield in the town homes).
· Adjoining property values would be diminished by rezoning- it would not be in the public interest, but instead would be solely in the interest of the applicant.
It is vital that the property remain as it is currently zoned for many additional reasons:
§ The property is at the main entrance to Glen Ellyn Woods. Changing the property to be zoned for a commercial use would alter the image of and undermine the character of our neighborhood.
§ According to the current report on Retail/Commercial Space Available by DuPage County and the report on Commercial and Office Space Available by Glen Ellyn, there are already many spaces available. Therefore, there is no need for this space to be used for this purpose.
§ The property is currently being used illegally for business use. The property is to be used as a home only. The petitioner has disregarded violation notices by the DuPage Co. State's Attorney, and has been blatantly and openly running businesses from the location for over 18 months. In the current SBC and Yellow Book telephone directories, Pros Property Management Inc. lists 3 S. 010 Park Blvd. as its only business location. The property is not listed at all as someone's personal residence. If the petitioner is currently breaking the law, there is no reason to believe that any agreements or conditions set by the Village of Glen Ellyn Planning Commission would be adhered to by the petitioner in the future.
Annexation of the property by Glen Ellyn should not be considered for the following reasons:
· Annexation of the property to Glen Ellyn would cause the other unincorporated residents in Glen Ellyn Woods to have little say in a zoning change.
· Annexing and rezoning the property would be contrary to Glen Ellyn's Comprehensive Plan (updated 2001) as follows:
§ In The Plan it states, "Historic homes, tree-lined streets, and other distinguishing neighborhood characteristics should be protected The Village should continue to monitor this situation to ensure that changes are sensitive to and reflective of existing neighborhood character The boundaries between neighborhoods and adjoining land-use areas should be clearly defined, and screening and buffering should be provided as required" (GE Plan, 17). Rezoning this property would not support any of these policies.
§ The Plan further recommends that "Traffic flow and traffic safety should be improved along key routes without disrupting or adversely impacting adjacent land development or overall community character" (GE Plan, 13). Rezoning this property to a commercial use would be to disregard this.
· The property currently receives its water supply from a private well, and has a septic tank as its private sewage disposal system. These factors would not support a commercial use of the property.
· Glen Ellyn's Comprehensive Plan, updated 2001, erroneously shows the property as currently being zoned for business, but it has never been zoned for anything other than R-4 single-family residential. The property is also not listed in the Comprehensive Plan's 37 Potential Development Sites (p.20). This map not only shows potential sites within the Village limits, it also identifies sites in the Village's planning area that are unincorporated. It was stated by a Trustee at the Aug.15 meeting that each parcel within the Village and the Village's planning area was evaluated individually as to its best use when developing the Plan, regardless of each parcel's current use. With all due respect, it difficult to believe that the village spent a large amount of care and discussion deciding this particular parcel should be commercial, when not even a few minutes were spent to check the DuPage County Zoning Map for the proper current zoning designation. (By the same justification, the homes within the Glen Ellyn Village limits on the corners of Park Blvd. & Duane and Park Blvd. & Hill Ave. should also be commercial, as they are also on minor arterial street and local street intersections with multi-family housing and commercially-zoned properties?)
I would completely support a business at the location, if thru due process, the zoning were legally changed, and it were found to be in the best interest of the community.
However, as I have demonstrated, there are absolutely no compelling reasons to consider a zoning change or annexation of the property by Glen Ellyn. In fact, there is substantial evidence that to annex or rezone the property would be unconscionable.
I strongly urge you to do what is best for the citizens of Glen Ellyn Woods, of the Village of Glen Ellyn, and of DuPage County, by opposing the annexation and rezoning of this property, thus preserving the character of our neighborhood and the safety of our residents. Thank you very much for your time.
The Stop Annexation and Rezoning of Property in Glen Ellyn Woods petition to Local planning authorities was written by Peggy Bowes and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: glen, ellyn, woods, park, blvd