Owners in the Victoria Hills complex told Mount Prospect trustees Tuesday the village is giving ARC Disposal Co. too much latitude -- and not providing enough protection for neighbors -- in a recent annexation deal with the waste hauler.
The village entered into an annexation agreement with ARC, a division of Republic Services, on June 19 for the property located on five parcels at 1921-3125 S. Busse Road.
Now the village board is considering a text amendment to create a new waste handling district and a map amendment to rezone the property into the district. In addition, Kenneth Drive would become a private road.
The board discussed the proposal on Tuesday and is expected to make its decision on Sept. 18.
Owners in the complex, which is located across the street and consists of about 1,160 residences, say the ARC facility has been a nuisance, bombarding the area with truck traffic, filling the air with unpleasant odors and infesting their complex with rats.
"Sometimes you can't get out of the complex," because of the trucks, said one of the owners, Nancy Comida.
Another owner, Phyllis Rose, said, "I don't know how you're going to control the rats."
But village trustees and staff responded that one of the advantages of the village annexing the property is that Mount Prospect would have control rather than Cook County.
"My response to you is you can stay in the county, and we have no control," said Village Manager Michael Janonis. He said there would be better control if the property were annexed into the village. using the methods currently used by the village for rodent control, including trapping and sanitation.
Community Development Director William Cooney even noted that the village would also be better able to control future use of the property. He said some of the uses allowed under Cook County would include foundries, rubber processing, meat packing and adult entertainment.
Property owners also expressed concerned about a provision allowing ARC 100-percent lot coverage and zero setback -- the ability to build up to the property line. They also speculated about ARC's future plans for the property and what would be allowed by Mount Prospect.
"A sorting station five stories high. That's what you're giving them," Rose said.
Kenneth Kubiesa, attorney for ARC, said the company has no plans at present to expand its operation.
But Cooney said the 100-percent lot coverage provision would allow ARC to cover the entire property with buildings or parking lots without getting approval from the village board. However, if it rebuilds, he said, it would have to conform to village code.
Trustee Arlene Juracek suggested the lot coverage and setback be modified so that some landscape buffering could be added.
Village officials noted the use has been there for 20 to 30 years.
But Comida said the use has never been this intense.
Janonis, however, said there are other industrial uses, including tank farms and a road construction firm, in the area.
"You are on a heavily traveled truck road," he said. "I don't know if we can change that."
Trustee John Matuszak said, "I can understand the frustration. That frustration is not going to go away whether we annex or not\. I can't guarantee you that it's going to get better. There is a strong possibility ... that we can have the controls to be more responsible for the residents than the county."