To the Editor:
An estimated 250 to 300 people attended a hearing Jan. 17 at McHenry City Hall regarding a petition for zoning changes to allow a 24-hour gas station to be located on the northeast corner of Pearl Street and Richmond Road (Route 31) in McHenry. The site immediately adjoins residences on the north and east sides, and across Richmond Road to the west is a solid residential neighborhood plus St. Mary’s Church and Montini School, which generates heavy student pedestrian traffic in the area.
Good planning and zoning standards always have dictated that there be a buffer zone – that is, a less intense use between residential neighborhoods, in this case also a historic neighborhood, and a heavy commercial use such as a 24-hour gas station with noise, bright lights and constant traffic entering across sidewalks.
Unfortunately, the Zoning Board appeared largely catatonic, and took no stand except to effectively defer most of the decisions to the City Council. It should have been an easy decision.
If you are interested in upholding the intent of good zoning regulations and safeguarding neighborhoods in McHenry, please find out more about the proposed gas station and attend the City Council meeting at City Hall at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18.