Update 1/5/16 – Village officials met Monday to reconsider the issue of a special-use permit for the U-Haul facility proposed for Lake Zurich's Route 22 corridor following a recommendation from the Lake Zurich Plan Commission. In a 6-1 vote, commission members agreed the development should move forward. Member Antonio Castillo was the lone dissenter, according to the source.
"As far as eyesores go, it's a business that's going into a dilapidated building. They're not going to do much to it,” Castillo said during the meeting.
Skelton appeared before the commission on Dec. 16 to report on the company’s progress. "Over the last three months, we have worked significantly to alter the plans to try to meet all of your requirements," she said.
The proposal includes converting the existing building on the 9-acre site into a self-storage facility comprising 1,200 units, a retail showroom and upgrading the building’s exterior. U-Haul also agreed to move parking for trucks and trailers from frontage along Route 22 to the rear of the property, Skelton told commission members.
The commission also recommended the removal of a water tower and pump house from the rear of the site by November.
8/5/15 – Following several weeks of debate, U-Haul received approval on Aug. 3 to submit a revised site plan for a self-storage conversion project on the northeast corner of Buesching Road and Route 22. With a unanimous vote, village officials initially vetoed the company’s request for a special-use permit, citing lack of a specific site plan, then voted a second time later in the meeting to allow the proposal another review by the Lake Zurich Plan Commission.
Prior to the first vote, officials discussed permitting U-Haul to return to the planning commission with a more detailed plan. Skelton declined the offer and requested a final vote, citing concern about getting an extension from the land owner, the source reported. "They have extended the contract [for three months], which gives me time to get all of the site plans in order," she said.
Board members questioned why U-Haul didn’t have a specific site plan ready for Monday’s meeting. “You've been given multiple opportunities over months [for a site plan]. This is not us dropping the ball," trustee Marc Spacone said.
The board then voted a second time on the issue and decided 4-3 to give the company a second chance to submit a more detailed plan to the commission. "Just so the public knows, this was an unusual occurrence for us. Anybody who brings a package for special requests can fly through the process if they've got all of their paperwork in order,” said Mayor Thomas Poynton, who broke the tie.
During a previous public hearing, Lake Zurich Plan Commission members, residents and others expressed concerns about the storage development’s landscaping, whether excess light would spill into residential neighborhoods, and how the proposed parking of equipment near Route 22 would look to passersby. Commission members recommended approving the special-use permit if U-Haul met five conditions. These included screening all trucks and trailers, removing a water tower and pump shed on the site, and closing overhead doors during work hours in a dispatch and repair area, the source reported.
If officials had not opted to vote a second time on the proposal, U-Haul would’ve been forced to wait two years before submitting another plan in Lake Zurich, the source reported.
4/29/15 – Village officials in Lake Zurich, Ill., are considering a special-use permit for a self-storage project proposed by Phoenix-based Amerco Real Estate Co., the development and acquisitions entity for The U-Haul Co. Although U-Haul has a contract with a building at 320 E. Main St., the company believes the 100,000-square-foot building just to the east at 300 E. Main St. is better suited for its needs, according to the source.
"This property came back on the market. There's more square footage, [and] the entrance is a little bit more controlled with the stoplight there," Heather Skelton, president of marketing for U-Haul Co. Northwest Chicago Suburbs, told the village board on April 6.
Amerco intends to purchase the entire property. The existing building is currently occupied by Ancient Graffiti Inc., a seller of home and garden gifts and accessories created from natural materials, and Excess International Inc., a distributor of closeout merchandise. Amerco wants to lease half of the property to Ancient Graffiti for three years and then have U-Haul occupy the entire space at the end of the term, the source reported.
The U-Haul proposal includes self-storage, a moving center and a retail showroom. The storage company would upgrade the exterior of the building and install additional landscaping. The facility would employ 10 people and generate sales tax through the sale of boxes, moving equipment and other supplies, according to village planner Sam Hubbard. Hubbard recommended the board consider whether the proposal fits with the commercial vision for the Route 22 Corridor established by the Industrial Zoning Working Group, an organization comprised of business owners and managers.
Mayor Tom Poynton wasn’t outwardly supportive of the project, expressing some displeasure with the before and after images U-Haul shared of redevelopment projects it has completed in other parts of the nation. At issue may be the amount of U-Haul branding facing the street from signage and moving trucks in proximity to residents, according to the source. "I'm not so sure that being kitty-corner from [St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish], across the street from The Landings and across the street from residential, that those residents would like that particular item to be U-Haul," Poynton said.
U-Haul will appear before the Lake Zurich Plan Commission at a later date with alterations to its proposal based on feedback it received from the village board, the source reported.
Amerco Real Estate Co. is a subsidiary of AMERCO, parent company of U-Haul International, Oxford Life Insurance Co. and Repwest Insurance Co. Established in 1945, U-Haul has 40 million square feet of storage space at more than 1,000 owned and managed facilities throughout North America.