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Committee OK with details of plan for Pilot

Also accepts revised proposal for Menards’ propane station

Published: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 5:02 a.m. CST

The Morris Development Review Committee approved plans for Pilot Travel Centers to come to Morris, as well as heard introductions from other businesses on upcoming remodeling projects.

The Pilot truck stop was approved unanimously at Thursday’s committee meeting, said Bill Cheshareck, Building and Zoning Officer, on Friday.

The truck stop will be more than 11,000 square-feet and is to be located on Illinois 47, north of Interstate 80.

It will include fueling for both trucks and passenger vehicles, a Subway, food mart, video gaming, trucker’s lounge and showers.

The company is still waiting to see if the Illinois Department of Transportation will allow for a right lane in and a right lane out on Illinois 47.

If such access is not permitted, the DRC would like to see more trees added to the resulting green space, said Cheshareck.

There will be an entrance and exit off of Mall Road.

There is also concern with stacking of semi trucks trying to get in and out of the gas station, so the company is looking into having two left turn lanes to get out of the station.

This could provide for an extra lane that passenger vehicles could use to avoid the truck traffic, he said.

The project now goes on to the city council Nov. 19 to see if aldermen approve Pilot’s variance requests related to sign height and size, as well as the amount of required green space, which the Zoning Board of Appeals approved Wednesday.

Menards’ Propane Station

In another matter, the committee also approved Menards’ propane filling station in a new location than originally proposed.

The store’s plan is to add a 1,000-gallon propane tank in front of the west portion of the building. The fueling station would be to refill propane for grills and Menards’ commercial vehicles that run on propane in the company’s effort to go green. Ultimately, the company hopes to fuel other vehicles that run on propane fuel.

The committee originally asked for the company to look into moving the station to the side of the building, but the company had concerns with truck traffic going to the rear of the building for shipments and the station being too close to their route to the back, said Cheshareck.

The committee’s concern was over its closeness to a fire hydrant and to the entrance of the building.

Menards came back Thursday with a couple more options and the DRC agreed to a new option where the station is still in front of the building, but deeper into the parking lot and moved over another set of parking stalls.

Cheshareck was the lone vote against the option because he still had concerns with the location and its closeness to the traffic entering the parking lot from Gore Road. He is not against the project, he said, just the location.

In other business, the DRC heard preliminary introductions from Dairy Queen and Dr. David Bainbridge of Morris Veterinary Hospital on their future remodeling projects.

Jennifer Duffy and Lois Englert of the Morris Dairy Queen told the committee they wanted to to do a face lift on the outside of the building and eventually gut the inside, said Cheshareck. They discussed possibly adding a drive-through and improving handicapped accessibility.

Bainbridge wants to construct an addition to his building on U.S. 6, said Cheshareck. He plans to ask for a variance so the addition on the back of his building would not have to include masonry products.

As a compromise Bainbridge said he would update the front of his building with masonry materials.

“They liked the idea of dressing up the front of the building and said he should go to the ZBA for a variance on the back of the building,” said Cheshareck.

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