By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
An empty plot of land near the junction of US 30 and I-55 will have a chance at redevelopment under new rules, thanks to an approval this week by the village board.
On Oct. 2, trustees gave the thumbs up to a proposal to annex and rezone the property at Spangler Road and Route 30, one of the few remaining vacant lots on the south side of Route 30 as it heads into downtown Plainfield.
The applicant, First Midwest Bank, is seeking to annex the 2.5-acre property, commonly known as the drum Farm site, and rezone the site as B-3, highway business district.
The vacant property is located in unincorporated Will County and the potential Route 30 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. Currently, the site is bank owned and the applicant has not identified a commercial user for the site.
The Plan Commission considered the case in September.
It’s a site that has already been subject to annexation to Plainfield, but had to start the process all over after it changed hands.
In August of 2015, the village board approved the annexation and the annexation agreement of the propery, which was then owned by Standard Bank.
While the annexation agreement was under final legal review by the bank after the approval, Standard Bank was purchased by First Midwest Bank.
Since the annexation agreement was never legally finalized, First Midwest was required to come through the same process again.
“The fact that the owner changed, and there’s now a new party, a new bank owning the property, it required the owner to come back to the board for us to approve the agreement,” said Director of Planning Jonathan Proulx. “Since we had to come through that process anyway, the bank requested that we at the same time rezone the property to B-3, which staff believes is an appropriate commercial zoning for property located on Route 30.”
According to the staff report, the parcel is within the village’s facilities planning area with respect to municipal water and sanitary sewer service, and is a logical extension of the village boundary.
The site is designated as a general commercial area within the village’s comprehensive plan. The general commercial designation is intended to provide for retail establishment that provide a wide range of goods and services in locations which are near major roadways, such as Route 30.
While there are no immediate plans to develop the site, the trend of development in the area is consistent with the requested rezoning.
Per the staff report, the change in zoning will allow for new commercial development and expansion by increasing the marketing viability of the parcel.
Staff also noted that the change in zoning will allow the site to qualify for TIF funds.
“It’s one of the village’s main objectives in completing this annexation is to be sure that this property would be eligible to participate in a potential TIF in the future,” Proulx said, adding that the zoning favorably aids the process of meeting TIF requirements.
Future development of the property will need to come back through the zoning process.
Any new development will be subject to the development standards of the village including the requirement of a buffer between the property and the residential homes which lie behind it. That means that future development will require a buffer which may include berms, fences, or heavy landscaping.