Land Rover opens, landscaping unfinished
Last updated 12/11/2019 at 3:51pm | View PDF
The Land Rover and Jaguar dealership in Hinsdale opened for business at its new 336 E. Ogden Ave. site last week, but neighboring residents and village officials say items related to the project still need to be completed.
At Tuesday’s village board meeting, Village President Tom Cauley used his president’s report to address residents’ concerns about the absence of landscaping that the Bill Jacobs dealership agreed to install on the east side of the property facing Oak Street.
“The ordinance that we passed called for eight-foot bushes there, and there are not eight-foot bushes there now,” Cauley said, noting other plantings slated to go in adjacent to the Franklin Avenue cul de sac. “The only reason why we can’t do that right now is just the weather.”
Village manager Kathleen Gargano said her staff plans to meet with dealership officials to work on a landscape design for that Oak Street access point that residents can accept.
“We would work to have a final plan in concept by mid-February so that (residents) would know what would happen, and (the landscaping) would be planted during springtime,” she said.
The delayed installation of the concrete boundary wall along the back of the site has also been a point of contention with residents. Cauley said the wall has now been installed and “looks fabulous.” Light poles originally planned for the site were deemed too tall.
“Once we learned about it, we went out there and told them these light poles are too high, and we shortened them,” Cauley said.
During citizen comments, Oak Street resident Edward Wavak said the dealership has been keeping the lights on too bright after closing.
“We do need to make sure that the lights dim at night, pursuant to the ordinance,” he said.
And Wavak also urged officials to apprise the business of its responsibility regarding sidewalk snow removal and the need to keep car transport trucks off residential streets.
“Delivery of vehicles clogs up Oak Street, and they should have the trucks in the parking lot,” Wavak said.
Gargano said the village can institute regulations to compel that.
“We can look at restricting truck access from Oak and Fuller, which would then force them to have to come in off of Ogden, briefly go down Oak, and then turn around,” Gargano said.
At the outset of his remarks, Cauley spent several minutes defending the agreement that kept the dealership — Hinsdale’s single biggest sales tax generator — from leaving the village in exchange for sales tax relief and re-purposing the deteriorating former GM training center facility in the process.
“I really do think this Land Rover arrangement was very good financially for the village, and we’re committed to resolving any remaining issues with the residents,” he said.
Trustee Jerry Hughes said the dealership is both an important revenue source and an enterprise patronized by many Hinsdale residents.
“It’s not as if it’s a business that’s of no interest to the people who live here,” Hughes said. “It’s something that many residents like having in town.”
Land Rover’s former location next door at 300 E. Ogden Ave. is expected to go up for sale, Cauley noted, and another dealership is at the top of village officials’ wish list.