Residents organize opposition to Grayslake gas station proposal

  • Signs bearing the name of a residents group opposing the proposed Casey's General  Store in Grayslake are being distributed to neighbors.

    Signs bearing the name of a residents group opposing the proposed Casey's General Store in Grayslake are being distributed to neighbors. Submitted by Mary Ann Scroggins

 
 
Updated 1/7/2022 8:46 PM

A proposal to build a gas station at the southwest corner of Lake Street and Belvidere Road in Grayslake, where Lake Street Motors used car lot stands, already has encountered organized resident opposition.

The project, submitted to the village staff this week, calls for construction of a Casey's General Store, which would have 14 fueling stations and a 4,540-square-foot convenience store that also would serve pizza and other foods. Casey's representatives intend to obtain a liquor license for the store, village documents show.

 

Though the plan may be months away from being voted on by the village board, resident opposition is growing.

Green yard signs bearing the name of the residents group, "Yes to Grayslake, No to Casey's Gas Station," began popping up last week.

Mary Ann Scroggins started the group. She said residents oppose the plan because they believe the gas station would lower property values for residents, snarl traffic, take away money from nearby small businesses and prove detrimental to the environment, including a nearby lake.

"We are not opposed to development, but we want it to be the right business," Scroggins said.

The group has attracted 170 followers to its Facebook page so far. She attributed the popularity of the page to how passionate and informed Grayslake residents are.

"We want what's best for Grayslake and we will come together to make that happen," Scroggins said.

The developer of the project hosted a community meeting about the plan last month that attracted roughly 60 people. At one point during the meeting, Scroggins said a resident asked the crowd whether anyone there was in support of the gas station project.

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"No one raised their hand, and then everyone started clapping," Scroggins said. "It was a really cool moment."

The plan calls for Lake Street Motors, which leases the space at 302 S. Lake St., to be moved.

James Jeffrey owns the used car dealership and said business is going great and he does not want to move.

"We're making money and never want to leave," Jeffrey said. "My biggest fear was that one day they'd say, 'hey, Walmart bought your land.'"

He said he tried to buy the land from his landlord around two years ago but was told there were already plans in the works to sell the land to someone else.

Jeffrey said if the Casey's plan goes through there are other locations he would move his business to, but he really didn't want to do so. "Of course you need a Plan B," Jeffrey said. "But this is our home."

Grayslake Associate Village Manager Chris Sparkman said Friday the formal application was received by the village this week but that it was too early to say when the plan would be before the village's planning commission. The commission's next meeting is set for Feb. 14.

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