U-Haul proposal in Lake Zurich triggers questions about look of Rt. 22 corridor
Concerns about the future look of the Route 22 corridor in Lake Zurich have arisen as a result of a proposed U-Haul facility that came before the village board.
U-Haul would occupy a building at the northeast corner of Route 22 and Buesching Road, cater-cornered from St. Francis de Sales Parish and near homes. U-Haul would rent trucks, trailers and storage units.
Heather Skelton, marketing president for U-Haul's northwest Chicago area branch, said visibility from a busy thoroughfare such as Route 22 is a necessity so passers-by can see the trucks and other equipment that are for rent.
"We don't advertise," Skelton told the village board during a courtesy review this week, "so our equipment on the road is our only advertisement."
But U-Haul's plan for Buesching and Route 22 isn't the only issue village officials should decide, Trustee Jeffrey Halen said. He said the village will need to look at the big picture and determine if a U-Haul is the best fit for a corridor that has been improved on the west, where Mariano's Fresh Market opened at Route 22 and Quentin Road.
"As we talk about Lake Zurich redeveloping itself, we kind of picture it coming from both ends, from the east and the west and meeting somewhere in the middle," Halen said.
Mayor Thomas Poynton questioned the idea of U-Haul opening near the church and homes. He also disputed how U-Haul's current proposal would fit into the village's plan for an improved Route 22 corridor appearance without a firm commitment to landscaping improvements.
"I would hope we hold their feet to the fire on that property, because one of the things that we wanted to do along that (Route 22) stretch is to upgrade the level of what it looks like, and as well as the community in general," Poynton said. "In my opinion ... what I've seen here doesn't upgrade the look along that stretch."
Under the plan, Ancient Graffiti would remain on the site for two years and operate in 40 percent of the 100,000-square-foot structure, Skelton said. U-Haul then would take over the entire building on the 9-acre site.
"It (would be) a retail rental store," Skelton said. "We'll have 5,000 square feet of showroom with boxes, moving supplies, tape, whatnot. In the back half, we're looking at doing climate-controlled self-storage units."
Trustee Jonathan Sprawka raised concern about U-Haul showcasing trucks and trailers close to Route 22. He said he'd want the company to maintain open space near the street.
"Look for unique ways (for displays) rather than just having trucks in a parking lot," Sprawka told Skelton.
U-Haul's proposal needs a special-use permit from the village board. Building and Zoning Manager Daniel Peterson said U-Haul may enter the formal village approval process in June with a hearing before the advisory plan commission.
Plan commission members would issue a recommendation on the special use permit to the village board, which gets the final say on issues.