‘s Plan Commission delayed votes on rezoning and special use permits for Gas N Wash, which also wants video gambling.
The business incorporates a gas station, diesel fueling pumps for large trucks, a convenience store that contains a
and Beggars Pizza, along with a car wash on a 4.9-acre site at 19420 S. Harlem Ave. in
The owner Leonard McEnery also is seeking to annex to Tinley Park, although that isn’t a matter the Plan Commission will consider. The commission also doesn’t make decision on the store’s plans for video gambling. The village board will make a decision on the two issues.
Following a lengthy public hearing Thursday night, commissioners opted to continue the hearing to the commission’s April 19 meeting, where votes on the zoning and special use permits could take place.
McEnery wants to annex to Tinley Park in part to seek a license to sell package liquor as well as to have video gambling, which would require village approval as well as approval from the Illinois Gaming Board.
Unlike businesses such as bars and restaurants that have video gambling, McEnery would not need to serve alcohol for consumption on the premises in order to seek state approval for gambling. State law covering video gambling allows an exemption from that rule for trucks stops that are on at least three acres and sell a minimum of 10,000 gallons a month of diesel or biodiesel fuel.
Residents who live next to Gas N Wash in the Tinley Trails subdivision told the Plan Commission that the business has hurt their property values and generated increased traffic and noise. The diesel pump fueling station that serves large trucks is on the west side of the property, closest to the homes.
Many residents said they did not like the idea of the business potentially offering video gambling 24 hours a day, such as the case with McEnery’s station in Mokena, at 191st Street and 88th Avenue, which also has diesel fueling for large trucks.
McEnery and the village have estimated that, by annexing, the business could generate about $400,000 in tax revenue for Tinley Park.
The gas station and convenience store were built in 2015, with the car wash added last year. The business was originally called Food N Fuel.
McEnery sued Will County in December 2015 after the Will County Board had rejected his request for special use permits for the car wash and a drive-thru lane for food pickup. Residents living near the business had collected 700 signatures asking the county board to deny the special use requests.
A Will County judge, in February 2017, overturned the county board’s decision and ruled that McEnery be allowed to install the car wash and drive-thru.
At Thursday’s Plan Commission hearing, some commissioners questioned how the $400,000 figure was arrived at. According to the village and McEnery, the number represents a combination of property tax, sales tax and potential video gambling revenue.
Speaking to commissioners, McEnery noted that with “millions of dollars” in sales annually, the tax revenue “adds up in a hurry.”
At the Gas N Wash in Mokena, for the 12-month period ended in February, customers spent almost $7.1 million at the five gambling terminals at the business, with Mokena receiving just under $94,000 in gambling tax revenue, according to the state gaming board. At the Gas N Wash in New Lenox, for the same 12-month span, customers spent $5.6 million at the machines and the village received a bit more than $72,000 in tax revenue from video gambling.
Commission Chairman Ken Shaw said that, in considering the special use permits, the commission needs to factor in the economic impact, which isn’t limited to the anticipated revenue that might be generated by having the business in Tinley Park. Shaw said that there needs to be consideration that other Tinley Park businesses that now have video gambling could see their gambling business impacted.
One resident told the commission that whatever revenue the village might realize, it won’t make up for the impact on residents’ property values, as well as the noise and traffic.
“We gain absolutely nothing,” he said of homeowners living near the business.
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April 6, 2018 at 08:48PM