Residents re-express concerns about Lenny’s Gas N Wash, board and petitioner take concerns into account

The petitioner for a proposed Lenny’s Gas N Wash addressed some of the concerns raised by residents that live near the proposed location, in place of the Walona Motel, but residents still are not happy about a gas station being put in their neighborhood.

Last month, a meeting was held where residents first made their concerns known. Some of those concerns included noise, lighting, truck traffic, flooding and privacy.

The New Lenox village board met on Monday and residents voiced their concerns. The board also asked questions of the petitioner. The meeting was only for first reads regarding annexation and rezoning of the property, so nothing was voted on.

In two weeks, the agenda items will return for a second read and vote, but the New Lenox village board will allow people to speak at that meeting.

A few of the concerns that have been addressed in the new plans included forcing trucks and other diesel vehicles to turn right onto Route 30 and not back out onto Walona Avenue, fixtures on the lights to point downward and restricting vacuum and car wash usage at night.

A wall will also be put in to separate the gas station and the homes behind it. The proposed wall is 6-feet and made of a polyethylene, reinforced with galvanized steel. It looks like a concrete wall and is durable and blocks 98% of direct sound, according to documents in the agenda packet.

Board member Dave Smith and residents suggested that, since it is not as expensive as a concrete wall, that it have an extra panel added to the top, making 8 feet and helping to increase privacy and block the view of the top of the gas station building from homes. That will be reviewed before the next meeting.

Residents also had worry about what regrading the land would do to their underground water and septic tanks.

Discussion was also had about adding a sidewalk from the gas station to the Walona Softball Field parking lot. The petitioner was receptive to adding that.

Much of the concerns were simply with a gas station of that size in general being built there, but all of it will be discussed by the petitioner and the board over the next two weeks before it is brought back Jan. 25 for second read and a vote.

Sean Hastings

Sean is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet covering the Village of New Lenox. He covers the local school districts, village board, and other community news and feature stories. He joined the staff in September 2020.