Mount Prospect trustees this week gave the new owners of village's second-largest shopping center approval to get even bigger, but some of the center's neighbors are not thrilled at the prospect of an expansion.
The decision will allow Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Ramco-Gershenson Properties to build two new outlots at Mount Prospect Plaza, adding almost 12,000 square feet of retail space to the shopping center near Central and Rand roads. One outlot would be a drive-through establishment along Rand Road, while the other would be built northeast of the existing Chase Bank building.
Residents living near the shopping center appeared before the village board Tuesday raising concerns about noise and traffic generated by the site, particularly from a Walgreens data processing center and trucks using the adjoining North Westgate Road for access. Holly Listopad, who said she has a letter signed by more than 20 residents, said she would like to see additional landscaping added to mitigate the noise.
"We would like them to consider the acoustical engineering of a piece of property, and not just the aesthetics and beautification," she said, adding that much of the noise comes from generators and evaporators behind the data center.
"I don't have decibel points for how much noise is given off from the current evaporators," she said. "I just need you to know it's significant. You're welcome to come out and sit in my front yard, sit in my bedroom when I try to sleep at night and they kick on and it wakes you up."
Westgate Road resident Niall Little also raised concern about the traffic.
"Westgate is becoming a much more traveled road," he said.
Mayor Arlene Juracek said the noise and the truck traffic issues were beyond the scope of the zoning question the board addressed Tuesday, but the village could deal with them separately.
Lawrence Freedman, an attorney for the property owner, said they are willing to work with the businesses and village to resolve residents' concerns, but added some of the issues -- such as the Walgreens equipment -- is beyond their authority.
"To the extent that we should be a participant in working with staff to solve that problem, of course we should and we're prepared to do that," he said. "But we can't do this alone."
Trustee Richard Rogers cast the only vote against the expansion.
"I think it's a good project. But the problem is they're pushing ahead with all these other problems pending," he said. "And the attorney really made no commitment to do anything about it."