The owners of a would-be new Subaru dealership in Elgin are proposing plans that include the preservation of a 200-year-old white oak on the property.
The Elgin planning and zoning commission this week recommended approval for BMLS LLC to build Brilliance Subaru on five acres at 1500 Randall Road -- the southwest corner of Randall and Capital Street across from Advocate Sherman Hospital.
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The development would include 20,000 square feet for a showroom, service area, a car wash and offices. There will be an outdoor display lot with about 300 parking spaces.
The oak tree, which is 48 inches wide, is in the southern portion of the property.
"We ran into a big issue with this tree, because it was kind of smack in the middle of what needed to be done," said attorney Scott Richmond.
The oak tree, which could live up to 400 years, will be protected by ensuring no construction within a 41-foot diameter, along with a retaining wall and some pervious pavers in the southern end of the lot, Richmond said.
A couple of commissioners objected to setback variances requested by the dealership. Community Development Director Marc Mylott said that was a compromise to ensure the oak's preservation.
"This is a prime tree," he said. "We worked with the applicants to design the best way to save that tree."
The city of Elgin adopted a tree preservation ordinance earlier this year. The dealership will replace any other trees it knocks down.
One of the owners of the proposed dealership is Kevin Keefe, who also owns Brilliance Honda in Crystal Lake.
Keefe said the Elgin location will be "one of (Subaru's) flagship franchises in the Midwest."
If the city council gives final approval, Keefe said he hopes to start construction in the fall and open next summer.