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Neighbors in Chicago suburb object to plan for new gas station, car wash

Neighbors want to pump the brakes on planned suburban Chicago gas station
Neighbors want to pump the brakes on planned suburban Chicago gas station 02:00

WHEELING, Ill. (CBS) -- A Chicago-area company wants to open a gas station in northwest suburban Wheeling, but some residents are opposing the plan.

They are concerned about increased congestion and environmental concerns.

"We've got a couple hundred homes that are really going to be impacted – between the condos, singles family homes, apartments," said Laurie Taylor.

On a ride through Wheeling, Taylor is quick to voice concern over what an abandoned Clark gas station might become at Old Buffalo Grove and Hintz roads on the border with Arlington Heights. The proposed plans call for something that offers more than a gas station alone.

"There's really is no need for it in this area," she said.

Taylor has led a group of neighbors who have created a petition and posted yard signs, asking the Village of Wheeling to reconsider allowing Gas N Wash to move in.

"We've got nice condos. We have nice apartments, we have nice homes, we have a nice traffic flow," said Bryan Manning. "There's no need to disrupt it."

Gas N Wash is a local company that already operates more than 20 facilities, mostly in the south and southwest suburbs. The company now wants to build a gas station, car wash, convenience store, and drive-through on the site.

"This is an environmental concern for me," said Leslie Albrecht.

At a Village Plan Commission meeting Wednesday evening, Gas N Wash Vice President of Finance Alex Kugar said, "We want to be a partner in every sense of the word."

The company said at the meeting that the proposed Wheeling Gas N Wash location will not allow overnight parking for semi-trailer trucks, will have fewer diesel pumps, and will not offer other amenities favored by truckers.

"They want showers. They want to do their laundry. They want truck parking. They want a sit-down restaurant. None of those amenities are here," Kugar said. "This couldn't be a worse setup to be called a 'truck stop;' to perceived to be one."

However, some who live near the proposed project say they are not looking for a new neighbor.

"It's not conducive to a neighborhood environment," said Taylor.

"Listen to the residents that live around here and their concerns," added Albrecht.

Several Gas N Wash locations also have 24/7 gaming terminals inside. Licensing and approval for such accommodations are through the State of Illinois and were not discussed at the zoning board meeting Wednesday night.

The future of the gas station is now in the hands of the Wheeling Village Board, who will vote at an upcoming meeting.

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