Annexation and zoning request for 316 acres near Hampshire put on hold

Plans to annex and rezone 316 acres near I-90 in Hampshire Township are on hold after Hampshire's planning and zoning commission unanimously recommended denial of the request.

In a letter received Friday by the village, Light Real Estate, representing the property owners, formally withdrew the request for annexation and rezoning. However, the company anticipates submitting a new request sometime in the future.

"Ownership has decided to withdraw its petition for annexation, zoning and annexation agreement approval to allow ownership time to consider and better address the feedback received before refiling our petitions and restarting the formal process," the letter states.

A representative from Light Real Estate could not be reached for comment Friday. The letter did not indicate when the property owners would submit a new request.

The 316-acre property includes Shireland, a short-lived amusement park that has sat dormant for decades.

Dozens of residents packed a public hearing Monday and expressed their concerns about the proposal during a nearly four-hour meeting.

Although that proposal was withdrawn, neighboring homeowners south of I-90 remain concerned that a revised plan would make little difference and that the uses ­- warehouses or a truck fueling station - could still be allowed under the village's zoning codes.

"It would still deeply affect all the residents of Hampshire Township, especially with all the traffic safety concerns," said Kathleen Carr, who lives in a subdivision adjacent to a portion of the property south of I-90.

During Monday's public hearing, residents expressed concern about the added truck traffic an industrial development could bring to the area. Others said they were worried about how it would affect their wells.

"I would rather see it all residential here," said Dan Dohn, who lives about a quarter of a mile from the property.

Hampshire Village Manger Jay Hedges said the property owners did not submit formal plans for the site. But concept plans indicated an area for truck parking and buildings on 38 acres south of I-90.

He noted that Hampshire has seen housing and industrial developments in recent years. A 90-acre logistics park is under construction near the I-90 tollway, he added. Through the years, the village has reached out to the Light family to see what the family intended to do with their property. Hedges noted several developers had expressed an interest in the land.

"The village is growing in residential, commercial and industrial," He said. "But we've managed our growth very carefully."

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