A group of residents mostly from the Heartland subdivision in Yorkville made their case against the proposed Casey’s gas station and convenience store to the City Council Tuesday evening.
The City Council held a formal public hearing for the project, as developers are seeking annexation into the city and rezoning for business purposes. Aldermen will review and most likely vote on the project at the Aug. 22 meeting.
The 1.35-acre site is currently home to a single-story apartment building and a single-family home, at the southwest corner of Route 34 and McHugh Road.
Residents said the development would not be a good fit for the Heartland subdivision, located south and east of the proposed site.
Residents voiced concerns about potential light and water pollution, heavy traffic, declining property values, and increased crime such as break-ins and vandalism due to increase foot traffic.
Ryan Phillips, a Heartland Drive resident, said truck traffic from Casey’s would choose McHugh Road and side streets to access Route 47 rather than take Route 34. He said the increased traffic would be a danger as the intersection of Farmstead Drive and McHugh Road already has decreased visibility.
“The gas station is going to introduce semi traffic,” he said.
Heartland resident Chris Heitz said he was concerned about traffic and safety, saying the gas station was “not the right mix for that location.”
Heartland resident Jeremy Goldsboro said he was not opposed to a gas station but that it should be in a different location for “safety reasons.”
“It’s not Casey’s; just put it somewhere else,” he said.
Nicole Swanson, who lives on McHugh Road, said the gas station would be 250 feet from her property line. Swanson said people throw garbage in her yard and kids cut through her yard currently, and there are no sidewalks in front of her house.
“It should be put somewhere else, where there’s a need for a gas station,” she said.
Ryan Swanson of Arc Design Resources, a consultant for Casey’s, said a commercial development would be the “highest and best use” of the property as it’s on a major arterial highway and a collector street.
“I know truck traffic has been brought up,” Ryan Swanson said. “Any retailer will have truck deliveries. Depending on the retailer that could vary, but there are going to be trucks there as there already are to the east.”
Ryan Swanson said Casey’s agreed with city staff’s recommendation to limit truck traffic to left turns only onto McHugh.
“Casey’s has no problem with that,” he said. “Operationally they can enforce that, as well as, we can sign it on the site. So we can limit that.”
Ryan Swanson said gas stations “capture existing traffic” as opposed to new traffic. He said that anecdotally people don’t make a special trip to get gas.
“That’s not to say this won’t generate some traffic,” he said. “But a majority of these uses are what they call ‘pass-by trips.’ It’s folks on their way to and from work or to and from a different event that will stop by and pick things up.”