Mount Prospect trustees gave Menards the go-ahead Tuesday to expand into the former Aldi property along Rand Road, but village officials told the hardware store it first has to clean up its act.
Specifically, officials said the store has to do a better job maintaining the easement separating its property at 740 E. Rand Road from the Harvest Heights subdivision that sits behind it.
Rich Benson, president of the Harvest Heights homeowners association, brought pictures to the village board meeting Tuesday showing dead trees, clogged storm sewers and weeds along the easement. Benson said he has had to clear drains on the property himself.
"I have gone back there personally and taken a rake and raked all of the material away from there, especially after we had water flow into our backyard and into the inlets for our stormwater system," he said.
Trustee Steven Polit also weighed in on the easement's upkeep.
"If you have walked back there, you can see a significant number of small limbs four or five feet long without any bark on them on the trees and they're over the residents' homes," he said. "And (residents are) really concerned that they're going to fall down and hit their kids in the backyard."
The maintenance was one of three conditions attached to the agreement allowing Menards' expansion. Another will prevent the store from selling landscaping materials, plants and flowers in the store's parking lot, and the third will take away a variance that allowed the store to have fewer parking spaces than required under village code.
Trustee Paul Hoefert advised Michael Simonds, Menards real estate representative, to stay on top of the maintenance issues.
"With all due respect, this stuff is easy," he said.
"My intent tomorrow is to go to the store manager and discuss it with him and try and get the program started immediately," Simonds replied.
Trustee A. John Korn also encouraged the store to address concerns about its employees parking in residential areas nearby.
"That's my subdivision and my neighbors' subdivision. And the last thing I want to do is see 40 or 50 cars parked there," he said.