A last-minute request by the company seeking to build a proposed gas station, convenience store and car wash near Glen Ellyn has prompted some DuPage County Board members to postpone a key vote on the controversial project until next month.
The county board's development committee Tuesday was expected to recommend whether the full board should grant a conditional-use permit for a proposed Mobil station and Bucky's convenience store at the northeast corner of Route 53 and Butterfield Road.
But the committee moved its vote to Dec. 3 after Nebraska-based Buchanan Energy -- the company requesting the conditional-use permit -- asked for the delay. In a letter county officials received Tuesday morning, attorney Henry Stillwell said Buchanan Energy needs extra time "to review aspects of the proposed development."
After Tuesday's meeting, Stillwell declined to elaborate on what those issues are.
While board member Sam Tornatore said Buchanan Energy's request was unexpected, he said "it's not terribly unusual."
It's the second time the development committee postponed its review of the plan. The first delay happened in August when opponents claimed the proposed gas station would significantly increase air pollution and create a health risk for area children.
DuPage's zoning board of appeals ended up hosting a public hearing to explore the environmental claims. But the advisory panel didn't reverse its recommendation supporting the conditional use.
"At the end of the day, I think we're trying to do what's best," said Tornatore, who serves as chairman of the development committee. "So if the petitioner wants to re-examine it, for whatever reasons, I think we can wait another month. There's no significant urgency to move on this right now."
In the meantime, opponents say they plan to use the extra time to lobby county board members. The county board will make a final decision after the development committee makes its recommendation.
"The park district is not against the project," said Larry Reiner, executive director of the Butterfield Park District. "The park district is against it being at this location."
The district, which has park facilities neighboring the proposed development, has argued that the use of those facilities would be diminished if the project is built.
Buchanan Energy wants to build a 10-pump gas station, a 6,800-square-foot convenience store and a 2,200-square-foot car wash.
In addition to their environmental concerns, neighbors say the proposed development would be too large for the 1.5-acre site, which once housed a smaller Shell station that was torn down about 15 years ago. They also claim it would make the traffic situation at the busy intersection worse.
"We are against this because we live here," neighbor Mary Ann Devitt said. "We elect these people (county board members). We are telling them we don't want this. We expect them to listen to us."