Hearing on controversial Wheeling gas station plan set for Wednesday

A public hearing on a controversial plan for a gas station, a convenience store and fast-food restaurants on Wheeling’s western edge will continue Wednesday.

People planning to attend the 6:30 p.m. plan commission meeting at village hall, 2 Community Blvd., ought to prepare for a long night. The first installment of the hearing on May 22 lasted about four hours before village officials halted for the evening.

A Gas N Wash operation is the centerpiece of the development proposed for the northeast corner of Hintz and Old Buffalo Grove roads.

The roughly 4-acre site is mostly vacant. A shuttered Tahoe Automotive service station that stands at the corner would be razed to make way for the new businesses. A shopping center that was elsewhere on the property was demolished in 2022.

  A public hearing about a plan to build a gas station and other businesses at Hintz and Old Buffalo Grove roads in Wheeling is scheduled for Wednesday. Joe Lewnard/, May 2024

The property adjoins the Mallard Lake Apartments complex and is across Old Buffalo Grove Road from the Brook Run apartment and townhouse complex in Arlington Heights. Single-family homes are across Hintz Road to the south.

Critics have expressed concerns about extra truck and car traffic, unwanted noise and light at night, pollution and crime.

“With gun violence, armed robbery, and car jackings a chronic problem in metro Chicago, we can’t assume Wheeling is immune to these issues,” plan opponents said in an open letter on the website.

Additionally, critics have described the proposed development as a truck stop in flyers, emails and on the website. But that site also acknowledges the proposed development won’t have traditional truck stop features such as showers or laundry machines for drivers, or space for overnight semitrailer truck parking.

It would, however, have a convenience store and diesel-fuel pumps and be large enough to qualify as a truck stop under state law, which enables it to get a license for video gambling terminals.

Headquartered in Tinley Park, Gas N Wash is a family-owned company with more than 25 stores in Illinois, most in the Southwest suburbs.

During the first public hearing, Gas N Wash attorney Lyman Tieman noted several towns have more than one Gas N Wash complex and said that reflects well on the company.

“The communities … would not invite us back for the second one if the first one was an issue,” Tieman said. “We find it comforting to know that we’re satisfying the neighbors around these facilities, we’re satisfying the communities.”

The plan commission advises the village board on real estate development. Whether the Gas N Wash complex is built ultimately will be decided by the board.

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