Not here, Grayslake truck terminal objectors say

Opponents of a truck terminal in Grayslake, proposed for west of Midlothian Road between Peterson and Winchester roads, will get another chance to share their concerns in a public forum - but they don't expect it to change the outcome.

Mundelein residents who live near the truck terminal proposed by SAIA Motor Freight Line LLC, have been encouraged by Mayor Steve Lentz to attend a meeting of the Grayslake plan commission/zoning board of appeals at 7 p.m. Monday at the village hall, 10 S. Seymour Ave., Grayslake.

The public hearing is a reboot of the zoning process "in light of a lawsuit alleging defects in the original notice for rezoning" the 33-acre property, according to a legal notice of the hearing published May 23.

The Grayslake village board last August approved the annexation and zoning for what is known as the Roppelt farm. In October, Mundelein and several residents sued the village and SAIA questioning the validity of the annexation and zoning.

"This hearing will give all interested parties an opportunity to voice their objection to this 24-hour trucking terminal use," Lentz wrote.

Some residents of Mundelein's Cambridge Country North, south of the site, regard the hearing as a "do over" and plan to attend.

"It's a question of safety," said Sue Markgraf, a vocal opponent. She claimed the project is part of a "bigger strategic picture" involving the potential extension of Route 53 nearby.

In a Facebook post Friday, Grayslake resident and activist Barbara Klipp said it was important for residents from both communities to attend the public hearing.

"Let's let them know that they cannot build a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week trucking facility directly across the street from a residential community and on the bike path that children and families take to the library, pool and fairgrounds. Build it in a location more suitable, please," the post read.

But Grayslake Zoning Officer Kirk Smith said Monday night's hearing "is solely for the purpose of curing any claimed defects in the hearing notice for the original rezoning request approximately one year ago."

The panel will make a recommendation to the village board, which again will vote on the measure. Village officials have said the company has been responsive in buffering the facility and addressing air quality, noise, lighting and traffic issues.

Meanwhile, site preparation is ongoing with a construction trailer in place and several pieces of earth-moving equipment at work. A SAIA spokeswoman could not be reached Friday.

James Carr, an attorney representing Mundelein and the residents in the lawsuit, said the legal description of the property in a notice published in May 2014 was inaccurate and the process is being repeated.

He also claimed the zoning to allow SAIA to operate at that location was a foregone conclusion at the time.

"The residents were steamrolled," he said. "Nobody expects it will be any different this time around."

Mundelein in its suit has asked the court to void the ordinances allowing SAIA to operate a truck terminal, vehicle repair and maintenance facility and order that the company not be able to do so.

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