New Bucky’s a “No” for Plan Commission

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A new Bucky’s gas station and car wash was denied by the Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission.

The project would sit on the northwest corner of East Ogden Avenue and Naper Boulevard, taking over the vacant Fair Oaks Ford Dealership.

Behind the project is Buchanan Energy, who wants to subdivide the 4.36-acre property into two lots, so they can put Bucky’s on Lot 1 and later sell Lot 2.

But city staff found this concerning.

“Upon review, staff does not feel the size or design of Bucky’s on Lot 1, the unknown future of Lot 2, and what future integration of these two properties would look like, lack of a cross-access easement connecting to the north, or potential proximity to two other gas stations achieve the gateway development envisioned for this area,” said Naperville City Planner Sara Kopinski.

Most commissioners agreed, especially citing the kitty-corner gas station and issues with Lot 2. They also noted the need for a retail anchor in that space to help guide redevelopment along the corridor.

“Our community has been speaking about the Ogden corridor for a long time and revitalizing that area,” said Commissioner Bianca Morin. “And I think we need to be careful and thoughtful about what we’re putting in and where we’re putting it. And when it comes down to this parcel of land I’m concerned about subdividing it.”

But Buchanan Energy argued their development would encourage others to come to the area as envisioned.

“I think once we get started, and certainly once it’s finished, it will start changing things. I mean, you’ve had the car wash down the road where the old restaurant is but that’s down Ogden a little bit. This is on your corner. When we do this people will start getting interested in it,” said Richard McMahon, a representative with Buchanan Energy.

Given the property’s vacancy since 2012, Commissioner Bill Babel felt waiting longer for the right petitioner wouldn’t be the right move.

He was the sole vote in favor of the proposal, while the six other commissioners voted against. Chairwoman Kamala Martinez was absent from the meeting.

The 6-1 vote against the project now goes to Naperville City Council.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.