McHenry County Board delays vote on Crystal Lake-area self-storage facility; city objects to plan

McHenry County Board members vote on a resolution opposing the Illinois gun ban and supporting its repeal at the McHenry County Board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, in the McHenry County Administration Building.

The McHenry County Board delayed a vote on approving a Crystal Lake-area self storage facility until its July 16 meeting.

The proposed facility is the former Flowerwood Nursery near the intersection of Routes 14 and 176 on the west side of Crystal Lake. Flowerwood still owns the property and would sell it to Kyle Lindley of Prairie Enterprises LLC. Lindley plans to build a self storage facility on the property, but county officials were set to vote on a zoning change that would allow the facility.

The property is just outside Crystal Lake city limits, so it falls under the county’s purview. However, the city of Crystal Lake filed an objection to the facility, which also raised the threshold of approval to three-quarters of the board. Among the reasons the city gave for its opposition include the property being a gateway to the city.

That argument is similar to one some city officials voiced regarding a separate self storage facility at the intersection of Routes 176 and 31 on the other end of town. That storage facility received a denial from the planning and zoning commission, but the City Council ultimately overrode the plan commission and voted to approve it earlier this month.

County board member John Reinert, R-Crystal Lake, proposed deferring the county board vote for 60 days to give Crystal Lake and the petitioner time to work something out. Reinert said he received calls from the mayor and City Council of Crystal Lake asking him to “not pass this” but also had heard from Prairie Enterprises.

“I think that both the petitioner and Crystal Lake are fair enough people that they should be considered,” Reinert said.

He said the county board approving such a change is “unfair to both parties. Crystal Lake doesn’t want it.” Reinert argued that deferring it would give people a “fair shot” to weigh in and give the county board a “fair vote.”

Reinert previously expressed concerns with the proposed facility, saying it was in the Crystal Lake watershed and it was “actually a threat to Crystal Lake.”

Board member Theresa Meshes, D-Fox River Grove, asked whether problems would arise from delaying requests, and Norm Vinton of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office responded no.

Meshes also asked whether the board could hear from the petitioner, to which McHenry County Board Chair Mike Buehler replied, “I would vote on what you think we should [do] or not.”

Buehler asked Reinert whether he would be amenable to amending the 60 days to the July meeting, to which Reinert said he would be. The July meeting is July 16.

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