Standing-room only crowd forces delay in Life Time Fitness decision

 
 
Updated 12/21/2017 8:41 AM
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  • Every seat again was filled before the Lake Zurich planning and zoning commission Wednesday night during a discussion of a proposal for a new Life Time Fitness in the village.

      Every seat again was filled before the Lake Zurich planning and zoning commission Wednesday night during a discussion of a proposal for a new Life Time Fitness in the village. Doug Graham | Staff Photographer

  • Life Time Fitness has been changing its plans for a center in Lake Zurich to try to meet residents' concerns.

    Life Time Fitness has been changing its plans for a center in Lake Zurich to try to meet residents' concerns. Courtesy of Village of Lake Zurich

For the second time in two months the Lake Zurich planning and zoning commission ran out of time to come to a decision on whether to recommend the proposed Life Time Fitness development at the old Hackney's site.

So many residents came to the meeting Wednesday to speak about the proposal that Chairman Orlando Stratman asked that the discussion continue at their next meeting in January.

Life Time wants to build a 125,000-square-foot health and fitness club and an outdoor pool deck at 880 N. Old Rand Road. The three-story building would be 58 feet tall.

Since the November meeting, Life Time made several changes to its proposal to address residents' concerns about how close the building is to neighbors, the traffic it would generate, and the trees and plants that would be cut down, among others.

Also in that time, hundreds of residents signed petitions or posted yard signs opposing the project.

Every seat in the village meeting room was once again filled Wednesday, and the majority of the people who spoke argued Life Time Fitness was not a good fit for the community.

John Neitzke, who lives on the 700 block of N. Old Rand Road, asked why Life Time would want to open a business in a location where the majority of the neighbors oppose them.

"Look at all these people who came out on the longest, darkest night of the year to oppose this," Neitzke said.

Chairman Orlando Stratman said early on that the commission would try to wrap up the meeting by 10 p.m. But when Commissioner Antonio Castillo urged speakers to keep their remarks short or else they will be here for a continuance in January, a big cheer went up from the standing-room-only crowd.

"Our opinions can be better expressed with words than by hands," Stratman said, chiding the clappers in the crowd.

The most significant change Life Time made to its proposal is swapping the building with the outdoor pool deck so the building can be closer to Rand Road and farther from residents to the east. The change moves the building 160 feet farther from the eastern lot line.

Stratman said he did not want to rush the commission's process.

"This is a big thing coming into Lake Zurich. It's nothing we're going to rush to," Stratman said. "We're going to take the time."

The planning and zoning commission is scheduled to meet next at 7 p.m. on January 17.

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