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Meijer Rezoning Concerns Land Owner

The Village Board amended its land use map Tuesday to accommodate a Meijer store; however, the man who owns that land says village leaders overreached.

There’s no doubt the proposed 200,000-square-foot Meijer development has created a buzz amongst residents in Sussex lately. But the Schellin brothers, who own the land on which the store would be built, have concerns about their future.

The Village Board on Tuesday rezoned the Schellin’s land to make way for the big-box retailer and gas station that will rest on 20 acres of the roughly 68 acre plot. Steven Schellin supports the Meijer development, but he feels the village went too far by deeming 18 acres of his land an environmental corridor, which undevelopable for future buyers.

“We support the Meijer project and those changes required to be made in order to make the project a success. However, Meijer has not purchased the land yet, and my brother and I bear all the risk associated with the property if the project does not succeed.”

An amendment was necessary to merge disparate land uses on Schellin’s property and create a uniform plot for Meijer to build upon. The Village Board approved the amended land use map unanimously Tuesday.

Schellin said surveyors from the Department of Natural Resources, FEMA, and the Army Corps of Engineers had delineated a 5.9-acre boundary for an environmental corridor on his land. Instead, the village approved an environmental corridor that eats up roughly 12.1 more acres. Essentially, that’s 12.1 more acres that developers can’t build on, and it lowers the marketability of that plot.

"The environmental corridor only needs to be delineated by the scientifically determined limit,” Schellin said. “Not an overly conservative boundary that could limit our use if the Meijer project doesn’t succeed.”

Village Administrator Jeffrey Smith said the land uses can always be amended, and that option would be on the table should the Meijer project fall through. However, Schellin said it’s always more difficult to revise something once it’s changed – especially when it comes to reducing land designated for environmental uses.

“You end up looking like the bad guy when you go to change the land use,” Schellin said.

The village’s changes to its land use map drew roughly 100 residents to a pair of public hearings earlier this month. Some of the concerns involved the proposed store being open 24 hours a day, traffic congestion, and the size of the building.

Another public hearing is scheduled for December 20 with the intention to field more concerns and suggestions from the public.

“It’s like someone coming in and saying you have three bathrooms in the house with five kids, but you can only use one of them. It adds a little stress to the situation,” said Steven’s brother, Edwin Schellin. “It adds a risk that we don’t think we should bear the burden of right now.”

Southwest Sussex December 14, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I agree with SaB on the point that this should be built on 164 by Kohl's and Shopko. Keep the retail together. 24/7 operation is not needed. As for the board not listening to the people, I personally think this is a done deal. These board members want this to be their legacy. Always investigate who you are voting for BEFORE you vote!!
Resident December 14, 2012 at 03:47 AM
CF -- sorry to inform you but the pharmacies are NOT open 24 hours but have the same hours of Walgreens right in Sussex. And if you are in need of a pharmacy after 10 pm or before 8 am, you are likely at the hospital or urgent care where you can get whatever urgent prescription you need.
CF December 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Resident...OR you are a parent with a young child who gets ill in the middle of the night. 24 hour businesses are a luxury to many people who work various shifts or for those who are parents who need to do things after kids are in bed.
Nancy K December 21, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Of course it's a done deal. They are just going through the motions of "listening" to the residents before they go ahead and sign on with Meijers. CF, why should I "move to the country" when I've been here for 23 years? Just to accommodate newcomers like you who can't/won't drive 15 minutes to shop?
Lois Liebau-Templin January 28, 2013 at 10:54 PM
You can count on us not shopping at the Meijer Store. When we say we are against something, we are against it. It is no problems for us to travel the short distance to Capitol Drive, and 164, to do our shopping. We so not patronize any business just because it is close. We have more ambition than that. Why doesn't Sussex try to fill the empty stores that are just sitting there? There is a need for a larger variety of businesses in this area. Not add another store that is the same as those down the road.

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