Lake Zurich residents oppose Life Time Fitness at former Hackney's site
Residents expressed concern Monday night that the proposed Life Time Fitness development on the old Hackney's site in Lake Zurich would decrease their property values, worsen their quality of life and increase traffic.
The three-story fitness center would be about 125,000 square feet and would have two outdoor pools and about 600 parking spaces, according to the plan presented to the village board by Life Time Director of Development Aaron Koehler.
Nearly every seat in the board's chambers was filled to hear Koehler's presentation and weigh in on the plan.
The matter was before the village board as a courtesy review only, so no vote took place.
Koehler said Life Time Fitness is striving to create a full-service facility that will remind customers of a country club without a golf course.
Residents who live nearby fear the building would be too big and destroy the green space on the Hackney's property that they enjoy seeing.
"Imagine having a beautiful green sanctuary in your backyard and suddenly it is bulldozed over for 600 parking spots," Lake Zurich resident Janice Gannon said.
Not every resident who spoke was against the proposal.
Jody Kien, a Lake Zurich resident since 1979, said Life Time could bring a positive change to the village. But she said she was worried about whether construction would cause her townhouse to flood.
The western half of the Hackney's site nearest the intersection of Old Rand Road and Route 12 is zoned for business, but the eastern half is zoned for residential. Life Time Fitness would like the whole site zoned for business and hopes to build near the center of the property.
Trustee Jim Beaudoin said he wants Life Time to consider changing the plan to move the building farther west on the property and not as close to homes.
Trustee Jonathan Sprawka said the Hackney's site is one of the last large parcels left in the village and that residents should keep in mind that it will eventually be developed.
"There's no perfect solution to any development," Sprawka said. "It will be developed in one way shape or form, absent a group of residents coming forward to offer $4 million to buy the property."
"Absent Powerball winnings, that is less than likely."
The village will pass along all residents' comments about the proposal to Life Time in the coming days.
Koehler said after the meeting that the company would consider the comments before deciding to bring the plan back to the village.