Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When Common Sense Prevails

Why is it so hard for our elected officials to apply common sense when governing.  I experienced this when spearheading the effort to bring safe water at an affordable price to over 800 homes in unincorporated Downers Grove, serving as a DuPage Water Commissioner and now again with another issue facing my neighborhood.

Walgreens has petitioned the Village of Downers Grove to put a Walgreens at the corner of 63rd Street and Woodward Avenue.  The Village of Downers Grove Planning and Zoning Commission used  common sense, as they usually do, and denied the petitioners.

The Mayor and Council Members are actually considering approving the plan.  The residents are not against progress.  The residents are using common sense.  Currently there is a Walgreens 1 block to the west.  What will happen to this Walgreens when the new Walgreens is built.  Most likely it will remain vacant.  There was a similar situation in Woodridge where a new Walgreens was built and  a block away the old Walgreens remains vacant.

The village is considering making all of these special considerations for a Walgreens which the necessity has not been proven.  There are currently 28 pharmacies in a 5 mile radius and 18 within a 3 mile radius.

If the village truly believes that we need another Walgreens there is a strip mall directly across the street from the proposed site.  The strip mall is in poor condition and putting a Walgreens on the side where the strip mall is could possibly lead to more growth and beautification of that corner.  And most importantly it would allow for better and safer traffic flow and easy access for Walgreens customers.

The intersection is one of the most dangerous intersections in the Village.  There are valid concerns for the safety of our children who walk to the nearby elementary school and many high school students drive or walk that intersection each day. 

The corner of 63rd and Woodward has been zoned low intensity commercial.  Walgreens is not a low intensity commercial property it is a high volume retail property.  It clearly does not fit the zoning requirement.

There is plenty of vacant commercial property in the Village of Downers Grove.  Before the village seeks out more commercial  property they should work to fill the existing vacant commercial properties.

I would hope that Mayor Tully and the Council Members will use common sense and deny the petitioners but work with them to find a location that is more suitable. 

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