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posted: 9/18/2013 5:30 AM

Rolling Meadows will again consider digital billboard

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Faced with a piece of property whose only value is its location near the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) and Route 53 on Algonquin Road (Route 62) in Rolling Meadows, developers continue their struggle to erect a digital billboard.

The city council gave little reaction to the presentation Tuesday, but city staff will work out a potential contract with Oxford Development, representing purchasers of the property at 3975 Algonquin Road, which is in receivership.

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The council and plan commission rejected the sign once this year, so the petitioners reduced its size and brightness, then garnered a 5-3 approval from the plan commission.

Not only has the car wash on the property been vacant for four years, but Robert Brownson told the council no one would ever build anything else there because the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has the right to demolish any structure if its sewer line underneath it needs repairs.

Oxford plans to build a small park -- mostly just for appearances, not for recreation -- on the site, and compensate the city for lost taxes.

Brownson tried to refute city staff's objections to the sign.

He said the Illinois Department of Transportation and the developer's traffic engineer disagree with city staff that the sign could be a distraction that could contribute to traffic accidents.

He also said the highway lights and lights in the nearby Woodfield Gardens parking lot give residents of the complex more nuisance light than the sign would, especially the way it is designed.

City staff also said it would be difficult to turn down owners of other properties if they want digital signs, and the sign is larger than allowed by city ordinance.

The question with more details worked out will come before the city council in a few months.

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