Lake Zurich officials are considering a proposal for what would be a more eye-pleasing gasoline station at the village's southern entry.
Representatives for Marathon owner Jasswinder Sandhu are refining plans to replace a kiosk-style structure with a 1,600-square-foot convenience store and boost the property's overall appearance. They appeared for a public hearing Wednesday before the advisory Lake Zurich plan commission and were directed to return for the remainder of the session Feb. 19.
Plan commission members will vote on the Marathon proposal at some point and forward a recommendation to the village board, which has the final say.
Gino Ramozzi, an architect with Joseph Meyer and Associates in Barrington, said the gas station proposal would be a plus for the southern gateway to Lake Zurich.
"This is the plan to improve the site, to improve the look of the corner and give (Sandhu) the space he needs to create a viable sales center for his concessions and to run his station," Ramozzi said.
Mayor Thomas Poynton received the plans at a recent village board meeting as part of an informal courtesy review of the Marathon proposal. A slogan for the business on an artist's rendering of the building caught his eye.
"I like the fact that you've got the 'Pride of Lake Zurich' on that building and I hope it stays," Poynton said. "That whole corner needed something to be done with it for a long time, and I'm sure you recognized that, because you've done a lot already."
Ramozzi told Lake Zurich officials that Sandhu has made upgrades in the past year including new concrete, a modern sewage system and new canopy poles. He said the Marathon station owner also has been involved in the community.
In addition to demolishing the 200-square-foot kiosk for the convenience store, plans call for fresh landscaping and a new water line.
Lake Zurich Trustee Jim Beaudoin said he looks forward to the continued improvement of the Marathon site.
"It's a real visible property as you come into Lake Zurich," Beaudoin said, "so I'm excited to have some of these changes done."
Documents submitted by engineer Daniel Grecco, who also works for Joseph Meyer and Associates, state that traffic to the Marathon site has declined significantly over the years. He said while more customers are expected if the convenience shop is built, the number would not be enough to create traffic problems in the area.
Gasoline volume topped 300,000 gallons per month about 10 years ago, according to the documents, but now is at roughly a third of that amount. Larger gas stations that opened north and south of the Marathon along Rand Road were cited as a reason for the drop.