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posted: 3/7/2018 5:33 AM

Lake Zurich mayor’s retort to residents: Fitness center ‘is not a done deal’

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  • Life Time Fitness has revised its plan to build a luxury fitness center on the former Hackney's property at 880 N. Old Rand Road in Lake Zurich.

    Life Time Fitness has revised its plan to build a luxury fitness center on the former Hackney's property at 880 N. Old Rand Road in Lake Zurich.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

The plan to build a Life Time Fitness in Lake Zurich was back before the village board Monday night for a courtesy review, and the board room was once again filled with residents voicing their issues with the proposed development.

And Lake Zurich Mayor Thomas Poynton was having only so much of it.

The village board heard just over two hours of public comment about the new plan before Life Time's representatives gave their presentation and answered board members' questions.

When it was all nearly over, Poynton had blunt words for residents who said they felt the project was going to be approved no matter what they said.

"This is not a done deal. It never was a done deal. Anyone who wants to talk about this being a done deal is absolutely a baldfaced liar," Poynton said. "I'm sorry I have to use that language, but it is absolutely not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination."

Poynton went on to say he felt there was a whole lot of misinformation spread by some residents who spoke during public comment and that he was looking forward to the rest of the village's fact-finding process.

"We'll let this process go through. You're probably going to show up again, which is great. We wish more of you would show up at some of these meetings whether we agree with you or not," Poynton said.

Residents will have at least two more opportunities to voice their thoughts this month. Life Time Fitness is hosting an open house event for residents from 5 to 7 p.m. March 15 at the Holiday Inn Express at 197 S. Rand Road in Lake Zurich. And the planning and zoning commission will once again review Life Time's plan at its meeting at 7 p.m. March 21.

In January, after spending three meetings hearing from the public and Life Time, the planning and zoning commission voted 5-1 against the development.

The five commissioners who voted against recommending the plan said they felt it would hurt residential property values, create dangerous traffic scenarios and be too big for the site.

Life Time re-evaluated its plan and made changes, perhaps the biggest change being moving some programming underground so they could reduce the height of the building to 40 feet from 58 feet.

On Monday, Trustee Jonathan Sprawka said he still has significant concerns about Life Time's new plan, including the traffic plan and the amount of screening provided for nearby residents.

He said if anything is to be done it would require both sides to compromise.

"Does it solve everything that folks who have concerns about the property have? No. But this is a give and take," Sprawka said about the revisions. "There's going to have to be, if this were to move forward, some continued give on Life Time's part and then also some consideration of residents who are impacted."

Life Time first came to the village board to present its plan in August 2017.