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Residents, dealership at odds over fence


Last updated 11/20/2019 at 5:04pm | View PDF

The new Bill Jacobs Jaguar and Land Rover dealership on Ogden Avenue is ready to open for business next month, but residential neighbors oppose the village issuing a certificate of occupancy until a permanent concrete barrier fence is in place.

At Tuesday’s village board meeting, trustees voted unanimously to approve a second major adjustment to the site plan and exterior appearance for the 336 E. Ogden Ave. facility. The adjustment includes relocations of sections of the fence and a light pole but does not grant a certificate of occupancy.

Dealership representatives said they expect the barrier fence to be installed the week of Dec. 9, later than originally planned due to weather and manufacturing hurdles.

“That’s the best estimate we have,” Scott Selfridge, chief financial officer of the Bill Jacobs Group, told Hinsdale trustees. “We’re waiting for an update from the fence contractor. That’s assuming that weather doesn’t play any more factors.”

That would be after the desired Dec. 2 dealership opening, timing that adjacent homeowners oppose. Resident Deb Braselton said she and her neighbors had expected the fence to be built in November.

“I want to know when that fence was ordered,” Braselton said during public comment, referencing a list of questions she sent to trustees.

Dealership representatives said the fence project had to be shifted to a second facility, delaying completion, and are awaiting an update from the fence company. Selfridge said the nearly four dozen arbor vitae called for on the residents’ side of the fence will be planted this week, and a chain link fence, tethered to the permanent fence posts already installed, will be up the entire time until the permanent fence is ready.

“We feel that that’s a secure barrier for the property between our property and the properties south,” he said, also proposing parking cars along the boundary for an added barrier against the possibility of a car breaking through the fence.

The majority of vehicle traffic at the dealership will be toward the Ogden side, Selfridge added, and speed bumps on the back drive will deter drivers from going too fast.

Resident Pontus Mattsson found little satisfaction in those assurances and criticized the board for allowing Jacobs’ “misrepresentations and lies.”

“They’ve had two weeks to seek an update, and we have no information whatsoever,” he said. “Your disregard for safety of the residents is absolutely terrible.

"You can put your hand down and say, ‘You know what? Don’t open until that barrier is installed.”

Village President Tom Cauley asked Jacobs’ representatives to let the village know as soon as there is an update on the fence’s status in order to notify residents.

“If it’s going to move from (Dec.) 9th, I’d like to know as soon as I can,” Cauley said.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 630-323-4422, ext 103


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