January 31, 2023
Local News

New Lenox residents voice concerns about new storage facility

Residents of the Fieldstone and Grand Prairie subdivisions voiced concerns to New Lenox trustees about a proposed self-storage facility at the northeast corner of Gougar Road and Haven Avenue, just south of Interstate 80.

Blue Ribbon Management is proposing to build a 111,810-square-foot climate-controlled self-storage facility on a large western portion of the vacant 11-acre field that is adjacent to the subdivisions. The complex also will include two 11,000-square-foot RV storage buildings.

The proposal does not fit into the acceptable zoned uses for the property in question, so the company has applied for a special use permit, which allows the village greater input over the proposal.

The ordinance allowing the special use permit came to village trustees for consideration at their meeting Monday night with a positive recommendation from the plan commission after a public hearing Nov. 6. About 30 residents were also present at the meeting to voice their concerns.

Mayor Tim Baldermann said the village is willing to listen to the developers as well as the residents’ concerns before making any final decisions.

“At the end of the day, we are going to hear everything you have to say,” Baldermann said.

The eight residents who spoke wanted answers about security at the complex and the level of noise and traffic to be expected from the business. Depreciation of their property values was another main concern.

“Are there statistics for crime activity that come along with such a [development]?” Deanna Miller asked.

Michelle Thompson, who has four children, also was concerned about safety.

Since then, Blue Ribbon has made many changes to the proposal, which include a provision to not ever build on the three easternmost acres of the property, which are closest to the houses, Assistant Village Administrator Robin Ellis said.

The company has also incorporated “significant landscaping” to buffer the homes, she said.

Blue Ribbon Vice President Michael Kelly told the board he would provide crime statistics before the board moves to vote on the proposal. A fence with a keypad for access will surround the buildings, and there would be security cameras.

Kelly also said a traffic study shows a storage facility “is one of the lowest traffic impact uses out there.”

The Village Board likely will vote on the proposal at its first meeting in January.