YORKVILLE – A project proposal for a new gas station and car wash site near Raging Waves Waterpark now will be going to the Yorkville City Council next month.
The Yorkville Planning and Zoning Commission voted, 4-0, to approve the Lenny’s Gas N Wash project, which will also include a Dunkin' Donuts on site located at Route 47 and Waterpark Way, during the commission's Wednesday, Aug. 14 meeting.
Jeff Olson, chairman for the commission, said he has been saying for years there should be a gas station and coffee shop near the water park.
"There are few things in life that I will be looking more forward to than this," Olson said with a chuckle.
Lyman Tieman, attorney for project applicant Leonard McEnery, said the project developers are looking to close on the property shortly after the City Council meeting, should the project be approved. He said the intent is for construction to begin immediately thereafter.
"We're excited," Tieman said. "We want to be in the City of Yorkville and we want to move this project forward as quickly as we can."
The project initially drew resident criticism for its original proposed location at the southeast corner of Route 34 and Sycamore Road. Shortly thereafter, the business put in special use applications with the city for a more than five acre parcel under contract at the northeast corner of Route 47 and Waterpark Way, which is next to Raging Waves Waterpark.
Lynn Dubajic, the city's economic development consultant, was the only person that spoke in favor of the project during the project's public hearing, which was held before the commission's vote. No one spoke in opposition of the project during the hearing.
Dubajic said the project would bring about 40 more jobs to town. She said the project would be good for economic development purposes within the city because a lot of people leaving the water park currently go north on Route 47 and fill up on gas, for example, outside of town.
"It was brought to my attention as high priority to attract something like this" in that area, Dubajic said. "So it was a priority for our community."
Dubajic said the convenience store on site as proposed is anticipated to be 7,000 square feet, which is a more than 50% increase of the initial size of the convenience store that would've been off of Route 34. She said the developer's goal always has been to have the business open by the end of May 2020 to better align with the nearby water park's seasonal opening.
City officials said during the commission meeting some concerns that arose regarding the project included clearly outlined walkways on site for safety purposes. Those provisions were included and addressed in the special use permit for the project, along with a request to make the monument sign on the project bigger for better legibility, according to city officials.
The project is set to go before the City Council for a vote during their meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at City Hall, 800 Game Farm Road.