Recycling center, motocross track being considered in Holiday Hills

HOLIDAY HILLS – The northern part of the village might get a few more recreational opportunities, as well as a recycling operation.

Donald “Doc” Roberts, who owns several hundred acres in the northern part of Holiday Hills, has plans to expand his Dumpster business, Doc’s Dumpsters Inc., to include a recycling center. Roberts also is asking that a business to which he rents 10 acres be allowed to run a remote-control-vehicle speedway on the property.

The village’s Zoning Board of Appeals is in the process of reviewing the proposals and is next scheduled to meet on the issue in April. It already has spent two 2.5-hour meetings on the proposals, one in January and one last week.

Doc’s Dumpsters Inc. offers a variety of Dumpsters, along with demolition and cleanup services, according to its website.

Roberts also has run an excavation business, Reliable Sand and Gravel, since the 1960s and is in the reclamation process of the property. That process includes filling in the gravel pit with clay and clean soil, and also returning the land to a useful economic purpose, said Sandra Kerrick, Roberts’ attorney.

The mining production on the property is complete.

Currently, Roberts can recycle excavation materials, but he wants to extend that to include materials from large trash bins. He can accept concrete and asphalt, but wants to add wood and shingles, among other things.

Without permission from the village, Roberts would have to take the materials to a landfill.

Roberts wants to accept commingled debris and sort it. He would accept general construction debris, clean construction debris and demolition debris. Unacceptable material would include tires and paint.

For example, recycled concrete would be used for roads, driveways and parking lots, recycled wood would be ground up and used for mulch, said Denise Mayhew, director of operations for Doc’s Dumpsters.

“Our goal is to reduce significantly the amount of debris going to the landfill,” Mayhew said.

On another part of Roberts’ property is H2 Paintball, which is asking to expand its operations. Co-owner Jim Leach wants to have a track for remote-control cars, aircraft and watercraft. They want to build a grandstand, a hobby shop and a tech shop.

The track would be situated in a 140-by-90-foot rectangle.

The closest place for remote-control cars is in Joliet.

Leach also plans to add motocross and ATV trails.

Leach has proposed a driving range, a miniature golf course, batting cages, a skateboard park, go-cart tracks, BMX racing and a rock climbing wall, but those would be five to 10 years into the future, he said.

The proposed motocross track would be one-directional and would not have organized races. The course would be for recreational riding, and all the bikes would be required to use devices to decrease noise levels, Leach said.

The closest motocross track is on Route 20 near Rockford.

Mike Tuohy, of the Real Illinois RC Racers Club, said the petitioners are willing to work with nearby residents to make sure that a planned public address system noise wouldn’t affect neighbors.

The business has run two races with remote-control cars, but stopped because of a noise complaint. The PA system that it had installed was too loud. A speaker system is not allowed under H2’s current special use permit.

“People of all ages are involved in these activities, and it promotes them by offering a place where friends and neighbors can bring their children to have fun together,” Roberts wrote in a letter defending the project. “The nearest facilities that offer some of these recreational uses are hours and miles away. We are offering a recreational facility to the local area that is unprecedented in this area.”

Greg Kelly, the site superintendent for Moraine Hills State Park, previously said he had concerns about the noise coming from the property.

“I’m certain you’ll recognize that the noise emanated from RC vehicles, go-carts, and most especially ATVs and motocross would certainly impact the aesthetic experience of our state park users,” Kelly wrote in a letter to the village’s zoning board. “In addition, the impact of such noise upon wildlife inhabiting designated Illinois Nature Preserves near the proposed facility would be most unacceptable.”

Roberts, in a follow-up letter, tried to alleviate Kelly’s concerns.

“The plan includes having baffles and restrictors on exhausts to reduce noise,” Roberts wrote. “Primarily though, the noise will also be reduced by the remote location from any trails in the park, but also by baffling of the exhaust, and by buffers around each area of concern, much the same as the mining equipment noise has been muffled throughout the years.”

After hearing the plans, Kelly said he was comfortable with what was proposed.

“If they follow through with the noise reduction proposals, that would satisfy our concerns,” Kelly said.

Kelly did propose a trial period to evaluate if H2 does follow through with its proposals.

Among the issues that need to be finalized is a Department of Natural Resources consultation process. It would determine whether there are any endangered or protected species on the property. If there are, there has to be a plan to mitigate damages to the habitat or species.

Kelly said he anticipated the process taking only 30 days.

“For this particular project, I don’t think there will be a whole lot of issues from the department point of view,” Kelly said.