RICHFIELD — Much of the same opposition was heard when
the Plan Commission on Thursday night approved a
petition from the Village Board to rezone several
properties to allow country estates development.
All of the properties are the former site of a sand and
gravel pit that was mined in the 1960s and ’70s when it
The board sought to have the zoning changed from M-5
Mineral Extraction District to Rs-1 Country Estates and
Rs-1R, Country Estates/ Remnant Parcel District to have
the possible use of the property fit in with the several
residential properties that surround the land.
Village residents Tom and Danah Zoulek want to purchase
the property and have thousands of truckloads of fill
dumped at the former pit location to raise the bottom to
a height that will better allow residential property
development. Last month, the Village Board approved
changing the land use designation for the property on
the village’s comprehensive land use map. They then
petitioned the Plan Commission to have the zoning
changed for the properties to conform to the map
Opponents of the plan hope both decisions will prevent
the couple from bringing in fill to develop the
property. Some of the same reasons for opposing their
plan were expressed again at Thursday’s meeting.
“The Village Board (last month) said it best when they
stated there were pros and cons to the Zouleks’
proposal, but the cons far outweigh the pros,” Scenic
Road property owner Paul Craig said.
Fellow Scenic Drive property owner Doug Felton agreed.
“At last month’s meeting, we heard from residents about
protecting the ground water quality and not allowing
fill to be brought into the site,” Felton said. “Do we
want to pay for sewer and water (service) if the ground
water were to become contaminated due to fill being
brought in? (The commission needs) to keep fighting the
good fight for your constituents and not let that
The Zouleks said they believe, despite the village’s
opposition, they can still find a way still make the
property into a site for the dumping of fill.
“Your zoning changes won’t stop us from what we want to
do,” said Jim McIlany, attorney for the Zouleks.
“Ultimately it’s the goal of my clients to reclaim the
property and their goal was R-1 zoning. They’re
concerned about the misinformation the public has been
receiving and the public’s misunderstanding of what they
want to do. They’re not proposing to mine the property;
they’re proposing to fill it.”
McIlany said his clients will attempt to have the site
designated as a legal fill deposit site to take fill and
materials removed from area construction projects which
would not need village approval, only state approval, to
become a reality. He also mentioned the possibility of
mediation or arbitration.
Current property owners, the Hoelz family, spoke out. A
letter from them was read into the record. In it they
expressed opposition to the proposed zoning changes and
accused village officials of tying their hands in what
they would allow to occur on the land so the family
could sell it. They also accused village officials of
rejecting any plans for development that would have
provided a viable easement onto the property.
The Village Board must give final approval to the zoning
changes. The only commissioner who voted against the
changes was Donald Berghammer.
Conflict over quarry not over yet
>>EARLIER: Village Board
nixes possible development of former quarry