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Article posted: 7/14/2012 4:13 PM

Residents hope to thwart Mount Prospect Walgreens plan

By Deborah Pankey

Saying their minds have not changed in the three years since they last fought a proposal for a Walgreens at the northwest corner of Elmhurst and Golf roads in Mount Prospect, residents of South I-Oka and their neighbors reiterated their opposition to village board members and staff at Saturday's Coffee with the Council.

Some two dozen residents, most from the 900 block of South I-Oka, told officials they don't like what they know so far about a plan to put a 24-hour Walgreens with drive-through at the end of their block. The property is zoned for office use and would have to be re-zoned to allow for a commercial development.

That re-zoning is just one of the concerns residents have with the project. The potential for increased crime and traffic on their block, as well as decreased property values also are high on residents' list of concerns, said John Connolly who spoke for many in the crowd.

Village staff and board members said that until Walgreens files an official planning and zoning request with the village, they can take no action. The drawing by Camburas & Theodore Ltd. discussed Saturday is the same as was discussed in 2009; however a different developer is looking to head up the project.

"You can't stop the process; they have a right to petition and try to convince the powers that be," Trustee Steven Polit said.

Mayor Irvana Wilks and Assistant Village Manager David Strahl encouraged the neighbors to present a united front and to do their homework before attending any hearings. Ask for traffic impact studies and call nearby communities to find out about crime around other Walgreens stores, Strahl suggested.

Still, residents who are still emotionally drained from the last battle suggested village officials let Walgreens know that opposition has not waned, and maybe money, and stress, could be saved by all parties.

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