Naperville’s Planning and Zoning Commission gave Reebie Storage and Moving a positive recommendation to operate a truck scale at its west Naperville facility, but there were still some concerns raised.
“This bothers me,” Commissioner Bob Williams said before voting against the recommendation.
Specifically, Williams was troubled by the fact that a scale located at the company’s facility at 720-740 Frontenac Road might be successful enough that trucks backing up to use the scale, and perhaps those belonging to other companies near there, might spill out onto Frontenac and create a traffic hazard.
Williams’ colleague Tom Dabareiner agreed about the traffic and also made the point that the parking variation sought by Reebie only added to what was already a nonconforming situation.
City code for warehouses requires 173 parking spaces for the facility and at some time in the past the facility was allowed to operate with only 155 spaces.
To fit the scale on the property, Reebie would need to eliminate another eight spaces.
The commission in the recent past has been extremely sensitive to compounding any issues of non-conforming properties by granting even more variances to owners.
Moreover, both Dabareiner and Williams didn’t like the fact that the petitioner’s traffic study was not of the formal variety normally displayed by petitioners before the commission, but rather consisted of photographs of the area taken from Google Earth.
“I’m troubled by a lot of this,” Dabareiner said.
But in Reebie’s favor, the business operates in a gray area in terms of the city’s parking code. While warehouses are required to have one parking space for every 1,000 square feet of floor area, most of the commissioners, and the petitioner, felt that Reebie’s operation was closer in nature to a storage facility, which code requires to have only .4 spaces per 1,000 square feet of floor area.
Whatever the proper code designation actually should be, a majority of commissioners felt that the proposal fit in with the city’s comprehensive plan and would provide environmental benefits that would offset the reduction in on-site parking.
“I’m willing to exchange eight parking spaces to keep trucks off Naperville roads during the day,” Stephen Frost said.
Greg Bruno agreed and added that the problem of trucks overflowing hadn’t been a problem in the past at the location, and he didn’t think an additional 10 to 20 trucks during the day would pose a traffic hazard.
In the end, Plan Commission Chairwoman Patty Gustin, Sean Hastings, and Pat Meyer also voted to approve the positive recommendation.
The measure now goes to the full City Council for a vote.