Crystal Lake residents petition against trucking company expansion

NVA Transportation is requesting a rezone to expand trucking repair area

Mockup rendering of the proposed NVA Transportation expansion and building in Crystal Lake.

Neighbors have created a petition to stop a logistics company from expanding its business in Crystal Lake.

NVA Transportation will present the permit request to Crystal Lake’s Planning and Zoning Commission during a public meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at 100 W. Woodstock St.

The logistics company, located at 7013 Sands Road, is requesting to expand its property by more than 20 acres to add a more than 30,000-square-foot building and a truck maintenance area that would fit more than 300 trucks.

Owner Ivan Nartsev said that the proposed area would not affect neighbors and would be closer to the train tracks and Route 14.

“I don’t know how I would be impacting neighbors, they would not even be able to see me,” Nartsev said. “We’ll do a nice landscaping, a buffer zone by all ordinances and follow all the regulations.”

The proposal lists eight addresses on Nancy Drive that immediately would neighbor the property.

“We were just, for lack of a better word, traumatized by this.”

—  Jen Walker, Crystal Lake resident

The city requires the business to have at least 50 feet of landscaping between its property and residential homes, Elizabeth Maxwell, Crystal Lake’s city planner, said.

The online petition started by residents in the neighborhood that lies on Sands Road and Nancy Drive currently has more than 150 signatures.

“This will negatively impact the traffic and serenity of the neighborhood, adding air, noise and light pollution,” according to the petition.

Trees and woodlands were removed last October in preparation for the proposed expansion. A tree removal permit was granted and 159 trees are required to be replanted.

Nancy Drive residents Sarah and Tim Jackowiak said that they were not given notice about the tree removal, which was happening right by their backyards. Mothers were running to grab children’s forts and other toys they left in the woods, Sarah said.

“I could have reached out and touched that machine from over the fence,” Tim said.

Another neighbor’s window was cracked when a piece of wood from a wood chipper hit it. Multiple neighbors, however, said that NVA reached out to that person to cover repair costs.

Sarah said she thought that the lack of notice could have resulted in injury to pets and children with the machinery being so close to their properties.

Nancy Drive resident Jen Walker created the QR code for the online petition. She said that she wants the company to give more consideration to residents.

“We have a swing set in the back, we have little kids, we have pets,” Walker said. “We were just, for lack of a better word, traumatized by this.”

A 12-foot fence also would be placed between NVA’s property and the Nancy Drive residential backyards.

Residents also expressed concerns about whether chemicals and fuel could seep into the ground and affect well water.

According to the permit request, “The facility will act as a parking and storage area for trucks in between jobs or waiting for repairs. No one would be sleeping in the trucks and they will not idle.”

NVA Transportation is requesting a zoning change from manufacturing and manufacturing-limited zones to a manufactured planned unit development zone.

NVA Transportation is a family-owned logistics and trucking company. The site previously was owned by trucking company Smith Cartage before NVA Transportation bought it three years ago.

So far, neither an environmental study nor a traffic study has been done, Maxwell said. It is unclear of the impacts this expanded facility would have on the area.

Nartsev said in a phone interview that there shouldn’t be any traffic or environmental impacts from the expansion.

“We’re not going to bother anyone,” he said.

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