Lockport residents worry about industry near homes
By Frank Vaisvilas Correspondent September 4, 2014 9:00PM
Updated: September 7, 2014 2:10AM
Residents from the Creekside Estates subdivision in Lockport and from an unincorporated area are upset about a possible light-industrial development near their homes.
“You have it in your power to make Lockport an industrial city or a residential city,” Creekside Estates resident Ron Saletto told aldermen at a city council committee meeting this past week.
Aldermen spent much of Wednesday night’s meeting trying to convince residents that there isn’t anything they can do to deny a request by Lockport Investments to annex and rezone 64.5 acres west of Interstate 355 and north of 151st Street for light-industrial use.
The undeveloped land is between two large sites, also not developed, with the eastern one zoned for offices and the one to the west zoned for light industry.
The three vacant properties are sandwiched between the 108-home Creekside Estates subdivision to the south and Lockport Heights, an unincorporated area, to the north. The Creekside Estates homeowners worried about the use of the land are from a section of the subdivision that consists of 38 houses.
Mayor Steven Streit said he didn’t think it was responsible urban planning to place light-industrial zoning between two residential areas, but “that’s kind of where the chips fell” when the zoning was created decades ago.
Many homeowners apparently didn’t know that much of the land near their houses was zoned for light-industrial use.
Ald. Darren Deskin (3rd) said residents told him that if they knew about the zoning they wouldn’t have bought their houses, but he said the city zoning map is available for public inspection.
Ald. Pete Colarelli (1st) explained to residents that Lockport Investments has a right to develop its land, and the proposed annexation and rezoning comply with Lockport’s Interstate 355 Corridor Master Plan.
“Because this is a reasonable request, if the city were to deny it we could set ourselves up for some legal liability,” Colarelli said.
City officials said no development plan has been submitted yet for the 64.5-acre site, but when one is proposed, it would available for public review.
In a 7-0 vote, the city plan commission last month recommended that the developer’s annexation and zoning requests be approved, and the city council is scheduled to vote on the proposals at its Sept. 17 meeting.