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updated: 3/4/2014 6:44 PM

Palatine rejects new business on Rand Road

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Palatine council members went against the recommendation of the village zoning board Monday and rejected a bid to establish a new light industrial business near Rand and Lake Cook roads.

The proposed business, called Merchants Metals, would have used a lot at 2234 N. Rand Road to operate a warehouse and distribution site for professional contractors and building material retailers. The facility would have featured a large outdoor storage yard for fencing materials.

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The council opposed the proposal because the village's comprehensive plan calls for the Rand Road corridor to be reworked into a commercial area attracting businesses like the Patrick Hyundai dealership which recently opened nearby along Lake-Cook Road.

"We have no issue with the business itself," said Ben Vyverberg, the village's director of planning and zoning. "The problem is it has a light industrial look and it is too close to a prominent area."

Village Manager Reid Ottesen agreed, saying the proposed business would not net the village as much sales tax as a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

"Every dollar we get in sales tax is less dollars we need to get in property tax," Ottesen said.

In February. the village zoning board voted 7-0 to approve Merchants Metals' petition.

Ryan Bain, a representative for Merchants Metals, argued the company shouldn't have had to obtain a special permit to develop the site because the zoning already allows for businesses that sell building materials.

But Ottesen said the zoning refers to a more traditional building materials store, such as a Menards or Home Depot, that would generate more sales tax revenues.

Rick Delisle, a representative for the property owner, said the council's decision means the owner will continue to have to pay thousands of dollars in taxes on a vacant lot.

"I plead with you to approve this," he said. "The zoning commission approved it."

Delisle said the space has drawn interest from other companies, including an indoor skate park, a storage facility for semi trucks and a used car dealership looking to move into the area.

Trustee Tim Millar voiced his concern about rejecting the measure several times during the discussion, saying that he was uncomfortable leaving the lot vacant without a plan besides waiting for a better option to come along.

"Sometimes we work against ourselves," Millar said.

Ultimately though, Millar joined every other member of the board in voting 'no.'

Both Bain and Delisle declined to comment on the board's decision.

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