Developers are proposing the creation of a new building that would house a Starbucks and a dental office at the southeast corner of Randall Road and Meredith Drive in Crystal Lake.
The property, which is about 2.4 acres, currently is vacant and sits next to CVS and the Lake in the Hills Fen Conservation Area.
Certain business uses are restricted in the area to prevent future redevelopment of the site that could pollute the fen, according to city documents.
The property originally was going to be developed into a Starbucks last year, but the sale fell through.
Developers requested the rezoning of the property from residential to commercial to the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday. They also requested annexing unincorporated land to the east of the property.
Commission members unanimously approved the plan. The plan will be proposed to the City Council for approval Dec. 5.
The proposed Starbucks would be about 2,500 square feet, and the dental office would be about 4,200 square feet. Starbucks also would have a drive-thru that could have space for 12 cars.
The plan includes 59 parking spaces for the building.
The proposed building would be near Crystal Lake South High School and the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Planning and Zoning Commission chair Jeff Greenman warned the developers of the aromas the plant can make.
“Most days it’s not an issue,” he said. “There are some days it’s as ripe as it could be.”
Commission member Natasha Teetsov said the Starbucks could get very busy since students can crowd the downtown Crystal Lake location.
“I imagine that the seating area could be substantially increased because you are going to see kids there all the time,” she said.
A traffic study by the McHenry County Division of Transportation found the development is not expected to affect traffic during peak Starbucks hours.
The proposal also calls for a sidewalk to be installed along Meredith Drive.
MCDOT plans to build a shared-use path east of Randall Road, which also would be an access point for the new building. The path would connect to existing bike and pedestrian trails in the area.
WMG Development project manager Chad Cornwell said retention will be underground.
Teetsov requested that Starbucks create a recycling plan to help preserve the nature area.
“Because of the fen, I’m protective of the fact that it is a very beautiful natural area, so that we’re just doing our part that we’re asking our tenants to do the same,” she said.
Recycling would be up to the tenant, but the property should have room for it, Cornwell said.
“Knowing how Starbucks is with being a sustainable company, I would imagine that they would be pushing for recycling,” he said.
Despite the challenges of being next to a water treatment plant and working with the conservation area, the area has great potential for success, Greenman said.
“It’s going to [be] gangbusters,” he said.