Residents ask is Lockport becoming the next Bensenville

These Warehouses are in Homer Township, Semi-Trucks are going down Gouger from 159th Overweight without being tciketed, some speeding, on roads not built for 80,000 lbs. Unsafe for School District 92.

Is Lockport becoming the next Bensenville? 

I can speak for all of the homeowners in Creekside Estates because I represent them as the Homeowners Association President. Everyone in this neighborhood purchased their homes with the intentions of living in Lockport for a long time.  

Our Subdivision is comprised of 44 homes located on the Northern Boundary of Lockport. About two weeks ago, we received a letter from Big Run Wolf Farm, which he received from the City of Lockport. The letter explained how PROLOGIS was exploring the idea of building a series of five industrial warehouses directly behind our subdivision and four other subdivisions. 

This project was an ill-conceived plan from the start without the well-being of the residents in mind. Besides lowering our property values and increasing safety concerns for commuters and school children, due to the increase in truck traffic, Big Run Wolf Farm should be of everyone’s concern. Approximately 40,000 people visit the farm each year. Some elected officials may feel that bringing an industrial park to Lockport will attract new restaurants and retail to our area. In my opinion, most of my neighbors can and would prefer to live with the sounds of a howling wolf!

Most elected officials selling point to its residents is that this project will bring more retail and restaurants to Lockport. If anyone has driven past Bensenville, ask yourself this question, when is the last time I traveled there to eat or shop? My guess is never. One other question, why would an elected official decide to place an industrial park right in the center of five residential neighborhoods? For most of us that built our homes in the years of 2004-2006 we all lost approximately 30% in the value of our homes across the board. If this facility goes in research shows that a minimum of a 20% reduction in value can be expected. The great recession was out of our control, this is not!

Our intentions are not to back down. We are not interested in higher berms, higher trees or real estate tax credits. As a resident in Lockport and a representative of Creekside Estates as their Homeowner Association President, we are hoping that the elected officials of Lockport do the right thing. Most importantly, please listen to your taxpayers. We are what make Lockport a great community, not a bunch of warehouses!

Our sign should always read, Welcome to Lockport, not welcome to the next Bensenville!

Michael Bonomo, Lockport resident

In what direction do we want the City of Lockport to go?

This is the question we ask ourselves as residents of Creekside Estates in Lockport. On November 8, 2016, at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, a development by Prologis for a 206.36 acre industrial/business park on the property located south of 143rd Street and west of I-355, and east of Archer Avenue was proposed. The property is to be sandwiched into an area surrounded by 5 residential communities and a beloved Wolf Ranch. 

The proposed development will occupy 2.1 Million sq ft. of space with 1,373 parking spaces, 572 semi truck parking spaces along with 328 semi truck docking doors. The effects of such a monstrosity will be numerous and irreversible. Property values will not just decrease, they will plummet. The proposed type of property with hundreds of trucks belching noxious diesel fumes, harming the health of our children and adults, polluting the natural habitat, threatening endangered species, bringing rats and other vermin, creating traffic congestion nightmares will undoubtedly be an economic and environmental catastrophe. We can see no positive outcome for the residents of the city of Lockport should this Prologis Development proceed. 

The possibility of this development is a result of recent re-zoning changes of which many residents have been, until recently, unaware. Does this type of development portray the direction we want the City to go?

Carol and Jerry Welenc, Lockport residents

Protecting a neighborhood

We are absolutely stunned our city leadership believes that constructing 2 million square feet of industrial warehouses in the middle of five residential neighborhoods and the Big Run Wolf Ranch is a sound idea. The negative impact on our quality of life, environment, safety, crime, traffic and real estate values will be detrimental to all of us.

In a Daily Southtown article from August 6, 2015, 1st Ward Alderman Jim Petrakos questioned whether the city council was approving too many light industrial projects. And I quote Alderman Petrakos, “We don’t want a lot of empty warehouse buildings along I355.”  In addition, Alderman Petrakos had testimonials from his neighbors lauding the fact he vehemently fought industrial development behind his and their homes in the Karen Springs subdivision on his www.jimpetrakos.com website. So, which is it Mr. Petrakos, industrial development is bad if it is in your backyard, but good if it is in mine?

At the November 8, 2016 zoning meeting, a representative of Prologis said that this type of development in the middle of several residential communities is a rarity for them. I would challenge anybody reading this article to go to any of the Prologis facilities in Illinois and see if they have one surrounded by single family homes and a wild life preserve like the Big Run Wolf ranch. You won’t find one.

We don’t know what we are more disappointed in, that Mayor Steven Streit and our First Ward Alderman Jim Petrakos believe this to be in our best interest, or the lack of transparency we were shown as a community in this process.  

Greg Mierzwa, Lockport resident

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