A key NorthPoint annexation proposal that could be approved Tuesday caught opponents of the Joliet project by surprise.
The proposal on the agenda for a vote by the Joliet City Council would add 55 acres to NorthPoint Development holdings for its Third Coast Intermodal Hub.
The 55 acres would give NorthPoint the land contiguity it needs to develop warehouses in more than 900 acres previously annexed into Joliet in 2021, according to a city staff report.
The annexation plan, which had not gone to the city Plan Commission previously for a vote, was called “sneaky” by the leader of one of the grassroots groups that has been trying to block the NorthPoint project.
John Kieken with Stop NorthPoint, said opponents of the project first learned of the annexation by rumor last week before it was confirmed when the council agenda came out Thursday.
The vote comes just two weeks before changes in the City Council that could erode support for the NorthPoint project, Kieken said.
“I think the right thing to do is to let the new duly elected mayor and the new duly elected City Council review this,” he said.
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, a firm supporter of the NorthPoint project, was defeated in the April 4 election by Terry D’Arcy, who has been ambivalent about the development but has not called for the city to try to block what previously was approved.
The annexation involves two parcels south of West Manhattan Road.
NorthPoint already has begun developing land it owns west of Route 53. The new annexation could provide contiguity of Joliet land needed to develop the larger section of the future industrial park east of Route 53.
The staff report notes that the annexation does not include rezoning for the land, which is zoned for agriculture. Zoning proposals would be brought later to both the Plan Commission and the City Council for a vote, according to the staff report.