A controversial plan for a 5-acre commercial development on the former Mitchell Buick site in Mount Prospect received the green light from the village board Tuesday, despite residents' concerns the project will encourage cut-through traffic in their neighborhood.
The The Mount Prospect Pointe development at 801 E. Rand Road will include a Texas Roadhouse restaurant, a AAA automotive service center, a tile store and a fast-food restaurant, likely Buona Beef.
The sticking point for opponents of the project is a planned right-turn-only entrance off nearby Henry Street. Residents fear customers of the businesses will cut through their neighborhood to avoid the traffic signal at Mount Prospect, Central and Rand roads.
"I just want to remind everyone that this is also a residential neighborhood first and foremost," resident Christina Kalinowski told the village board.
But an attorney for developer Speed-GMX Mount Prospect LLC said the project would not be possible without the entrance.
Mount Prospect Community Development Director Bill Cooney said Tuesday the village is confident it solved potential problems with an entrance design that would create a "difficult access point to violate," making it hard for drivers to do anything other than turn right into the site off Rand Road.
The design includes a raised median that would block traffic headed east on Henry.
New conditions on the project were added before Tuesday's approval. One makes it easier for the developer by requiring it only to seek a new traffic signal on Rand Road through the Illinois Department of Transportation, rather than making a signal mandatory.
"We don't want to kill the project if IDOT doesn't (approve) the signal," Cooney said.
In response to neighbors' concerns about noise from the AAA auto shop, trustees attached a condition requiring repair work to be conducted in enclosed buildings, with all doors shut.
In addition, the developer must hold a neighborhood meeting six months after three of the businesses open to discuss any issues that arise.
Trustee William Grossi said neighborhood traffic, although an issue, shouldn't block the project.
"We're bringing in businesses. This would be a tremendous addition," he said. "That property has been vacant for so long."
Public Works Director Sean Dorsey said the department's engineering division is looking to address traffic problems in the neighborhood near the development.