Wheatland Township Board changes mind on concrete facility
By Hank Beckman For The Sun February 15, 2013 5:02PM
Boughton Materials Incorporated facility at 22750 W. Hastert Blvd. |Sun-Times Media graphic
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:54AM
The Wheatland Township Board of Trustees has rescinded its former support for the planned expansion of operations by Boughton Materials Incorporated at its site near Naperville.
The move overturned the August 2012 letter from the Township Plan Commission to the Will County Board in support of BMI’s plans to begin concrete-crushing at its facility at 22750 W. Hassert Blvd. (111th Street) was prompted by two factors.
First was the outcry from nearby residents concerned about possible noise, traffic and pollution that could be caused by the operation, particularly the possibility of asbestos spreading near residential areas and schools.
And now it appears the township doesn’t have the legal standing to make any binding decision on the matter, anyway.
“We found out we did not have the authority to act on that particular case,” Trustee Frank King said in introducing the matter for discussion Thursday night.
After the initial protest from the community, the township began rethinking its approval of the project, but sought legal advice before taking any specific steps.
Attorneys from Ancel Glink advised that the township had no independent zoning power because it was located in a county that had adopted its own zoning ordinance.
According to the Illinois Township Code, Wheatland’s only legal authority is to ensure that a developer’s proposals comply with the township’s comprehensive plan and development standards.
Moreover, even review of a development for adherence to the comprehensive plan only applies to projects that are more than 1.5 miles from a municipality that has its own comprehensive plan.
With the property located only 675 feet from Bolingbrook, the township’s ability to act on the zoning changes sought by BMI is limited to making its feelings known to the Will County Board and not much else.
“Do we even need to have a plan commission anymore,” Township Supervisor Todd Morse asked.
Indeed, with so much of Naperville and Bolingbrook essentially built out, property that would legally fall under Wheatland’s jurisdiction are those parcels nearer to Plainfield, Oswego and Aurora.
Contacted later, Morse indicated that the township was in the process of determining how much property fell under township jurisdiction.
“We’re looking into that right now,” he said.
But he also stressed that the planning function of the township represented a layer of communication with the public that wouldn’t be discontinued without serious consideration.
The Will County Planning and Zoning Commission recently voted unanimously not to approve the special use permit sought by BMI, and voted to not recommend the zoning changes that company is seeking.
The Land Use and Development Committee voted unanimously against both requests, and now the petition goes to the full Will County Board for a public hearing on Feb. 21.