Mundelein residents who live near the truck terminal proposed by SAIA Motor Freight Line LLC, have been encouraged by Mayor Steve Lentz to attend a meeting of the Grayslake plan commission/zoning board of appeals at 7 p.m. Monday at the village hall, 10 S. Seymour Ave., Grayslake.In this border dispute, the truck terminal will be in Grayslake, but the traffic congestion and noise will affect homeowners in Mundelein, across the street, which makes the border dispute more complicated than one in which a zoning board reclassifies farmland as industrial, after it has previously reclassified adjoining farmland under its jurisdiction as residential, and people have moved into new tract houses there. Here, Mundelein residents bear some of the burden, while Grayslake officials hope to harvest some tax revenue.
The public hearing is a reboot of the zoning process "in light of a lawsuit alleging defects in the original notice for rezoning" the 33-acre property, according to a legal notice of the hearing published May 23.
The Grayslake village board last August approved the annexation and zoning for what is known as the Roppelt farm. In October, Mundelein and several residents sued the village and SAIA questioning the validity of the annexation and zoning.
Increased property tax revenue for two school districts and job creation are among the benefits of a controversial truck terminal rising in Grayslake near a Mundelein residential neighborhood, according to village officials.A truck terminal generates relatively little employment or tax revenue, compared to other potential commercial or industrial uses.
Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz, who spoke at public comment time Tuesday, questioned whether Saia's new jobs will do much for the area. Citing noise and diesel emissions, Lentz and other opponents contend it's inappropriate the trucking facility is being built close to a Mundelein residential neighborhood.We have a situation in which the property rights and liability are not well defined, thus there's no way for Saia or Grayslake to compensate Mundelein residents for lowered property values, or for the hazardous environment on their roads.
"It's one thing if you guys had solicited a developer who came in and built a corporate headquarters or something, providing hundreds of jobs, something that we could all rejoice in," Lentz said. "We could go to lunch, Mr. Mayor, and I could tip my hat (to Grayslake)."
Taylor responded to air pollution concerns expressed by opponents Tuesday and at previous village meetings. He stressed Saia will meet all federal and state standards regarding vehicle emissions.
"The trucks will be running only when going in and out of the facility," Taylor said.
Documents show Saia's planned 100-door freight terminal meets criteria for new job creation and financial investment established for state tax credits. Saia plans to move 30 employees from Burr Ridge to Grayslake, according to the most recent 2014 annual report from the Illinois Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credit Program.
And a 100 bay terminal is a hazardous environment. A plant that large is only useful if trucks are constantly coming and going, and whether the local roads are posted for 30 mph or 40 mph or 50 mph, there will be a lot of commuters hitting the brakes when one of those 53 foot trailers comes out of the terminal, even half a mile or 3/4 mile ahead of the nearest traffic, because those elephants are slow to get up to speed. Note, though, that it is the 53 foot trailers -- anything longer than 28 feet ought to require a special movement permit anywhere, any time -- that will make Saia anything but a good neighbor.
The project will go through, despite objections from Mundelein.
Concerns included the dangers and noise of abundant truck traffic, the safety of people using an adjoining bike path, health impacts from diesel emissions.Perhaps Mundelein's government can get on board with special movement permits for long trailers. But making a federal case out of Grayslake's zoning decision is likely to be difficult.
Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz was among the speakers at public comment time Tuesday. He criticized Grayslake for allowing a project that won't benefit the area.
"You are harming my community," Lentz told Grayslake's elected officials. "You're harming us. And if it goes through and it's used (as a trucking terminal), the harm could be irreparable and permanent, unless trucks just simply stop existing or Saia gets rid of it and stops."