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Maple Park gives thumbs-down to self-storage project

Village entryway aesthetics a focus

MAPLE PARK – Minify Self-Storage will not be coming to Maple Park.

The Maple Park Village Board made that decision at its March 6 meeting, although the opinions of the trustees were mixed.

Trustees Kristine Dalton, Luke Goucher and Brandon Harris voted in favor of the ordinance, which would grant a special use to permit the operation of a self-service storage facility at 18663 County Line Road.

Trustees JP Dries, Chris Higgins and Bart Shaver voted against it. That left the decision up to board President Kathy Curtis, who only had to vote because it was a split decision, and she also would not approve it.

“It doesn’t fit in with our comprehensive plan,” Curtis said. “That was my feeling on it.”

The proposed storage facility, which Minify representatives said the firm would spend about $1 million to construct, would have included 144 units on the former Spino’s Garden Center property.

Minify already operates a 196 unit it built in DeKalb, and it is in the process of constructing one in Genoa that will open later this year. But it won’t be doing the same in Maple Park, which satisfied the handful of residents who voiced their displeasure about the project during the meeting.

“It is not a nice thing to have storage units in your backyard,” Maple Park resident Elizabeth Tucker said. “My husband and I disagree with the whole thing and would hope the village would agree with us. From Route 38 to Main Street, this would be the first sight you’d see.”

Emily Dienst agreed storage units would not be the best welcome sign into town.

“If we’re looking at branding opportunities, I don’t think that would be the best thing for the village,” she said.

The residents said they aren’t against the property being converted into something beneficial to the village, but they collectively agreed storage units are not the answer.

“I’m all for making the current property better than it is,” Maple Park resident Henry Hockey said. “I just don’t think self-storage is the way to go.”

Higgins questioned how self-storage would benefit Maple Park.

“Spino’s was a place that created activity in town, whereas this I don’t know,” he said. “Are there any statistics on how it’s going to bring more people or traffic to Maple Park?”

Dries cited his dissatisfaction with the location and his concerns about whether it’s even in the best interests of the village.

“I struggle with location, although I prefer it over a 24-hour restaurant drive-thru with cars, a speaker box, trash and that kind of activity,” he said. “This won’t provide any of that, which is ideal, but there’s a challenge though, with the comprehensive plan, and I don’t know if it states in there that this is something we are looking for.”

Even Goucher, who voted in favor of Minify, wasn’t keen on where the units would be situated.

“It adds a service we don’t have in this town,” he said. “But I struggle with the location as the entryway in town, so I think if we do this, we make sure to do it right the first time.”

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