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updated: 11/16/2021 7:45 PM

It’s back: Thorntons station plan resurfaces in Mundelein

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A long-dormant -- and much-criticized -- proposal to build a Thorntons gas station and convenience store on Mundelein's north side will be back before village officials Wednesday.

Developers want to open the business on the northeast corner of routes 45 and 176. The roughly 2.8-acre site is at one of the village's busier entry points and near Mundelein's downtown district.

The former Original Omega Restaurant and a vacant industrial building stand on the land now. Both would be razed.

A Northbrook company called GMX Real Estate Group is behind the redevelopment proposal. It withdrew the original gas-station plan from consideration in March after nearby residents and the village's planning commission voiced concerns about traffic, light at night and other issues.

But shelving the plan didn't kill it.

Rejection by the village board would have forced the developers to wait at least one year before resubmitting the proposal or a different version of it, so voluntarily pulling it avoided that potential penalty.

And in the months since, the makeup of the board has changed. Two trustees who opposed the Thorntons plan -- Dawn Abernathy and Robin Meier -- were replaced in the April election.

Mundelein's planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing on a revised version of the plan when it meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at village hall, 300 Plaza Circle. It's the first public review of the revised proposal, which was submitted to village hall Oct. 6, said Amanda Orenchuk, Mundelein's community development director.

Changes include:

• A reduction in the size of the planned convenience store, from 5,500 square feet to about 4,500 square feet.

• The relocation of the convenience store and gas pumps.

• A reduction in the amount of artificial light to be generated on the property.

• The elimination of truck fueling stations on the property's north side.

Additionally, space on the north side of the site will be left vacant for future commercial construction that won't involve fueling.

Mayor Steve Lentz declined to share his opinion of the changes and the overall plan, saying officials should wait to comment until after the proposal has been publicly reviewed.

"We'll see if those changes are enough for the planning and zoning commission and the village board to approve," Lentz said.

A GMX representative couldn't be reached for comment.

As they have in the past, the developers are requesting several variations from local building codes. The requests concern building distances from lot lines, light intensity and fence heights.

Separate public hearings on a proposal to require special-use permits for gas stations in the downtown district and local standards for gas stations also are scheduled for Wednesday night.