Plan Commission rejects request to park heavy equipment on North Bloomington Street property in Streator

Petitioners not present at the time when commission members had questions about property

The Streator Plan Commission denied Tuesday a petitioner’s request to park and store heavy equipment at 1614 N. Bloomington St. and use the property as a contractor facility.

Commission members had questions about the petitioner’s plan during the public hearing portion of its meeting Tuesday. The petitioner, Jesse James, was not present when Plan Commission Chairman Doug Patterson asked if anyone was there to represent the property.

Patterson said to agreement from fellow panel members, he did not see a plan presented for what would be done with the property.

While the Plan Commission was taking its vote, however, the petitioners walked into the council chambers and the vote had concluded unanimously not to recommend the special use permit as the petitioners were in the process of seating themselves.

In a report to the Plan Commission, Streator’s building inspector said the property is listed as commercial and parking heavy equipment and trailers would be prohibited without issuance of a special use permit.

The building inspector had outlined three conditions he believed needed to occur if a special use permit was granted. He said the property owner would have to provide screening along the property boundary, set reasonable hours of operation and create a suitable parking area surfaced with asphalt, concrete or another approved surface for stormwater management.

A resident, who owns the property at 1612 N. Bloomington St., said during Tuesday’s meeting he didn’t believe there was enough room on the property to park equipment and referred to the property as “a junkyard.”

City Clerk Patricia Henderson said the city received letters and two phone calls in opposition of awarding a special use permit.

The matter will go before the Streator City Council for final approval, likely at its next meeting Wednesday, June 16.

Facade grant proposal tabled

A request for $30,000 in facade grant funds was tabled by the commission Tuesday.

James and Theresa Hombaker proposed to install a new storefront door and replace windows on the north and west facades, on the corner properties of 501 E. Main St. and 103 S. Sterling St.

Patterson said he was concerned the plan pitched was more functional in nature and did not do enough to bring the property to a 1950s look, as is the vision of the facade grant program.

Theresa Hombaker said she plans to install an awning to beautify the property, but didn’t have the design of it just yet. The Plan Commission asked for her to submit the awning design and members will consider the proposal at their next meeting in July.

Derek Barichello

Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.