‘So glad you heard our voices’ — neighbors thank Board after Paragon vote

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by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (December 23, 2021) – Several of the same neighbors who had attended the November 2 Village Board Committee of the Whole meeting reappeared on Tuesday night, December 21, to witness the Board’s vote regarding Paragon Freight, Inc. The vote was the culmination of months of complaints, petitions, presentations, discussions, and meetings.

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The neighbors who live near the property Paragon was operating from attended the December 21 Village Board meeting to observe the vote on rezoning the district. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

At 7:20 p.m. Trustee Leo Valencia, who oversees Buildings & Public Works, made a motion to approve Ordinance #21-052, “denying a map amendment request from B2 Community Retail & Service to M1 Limited Manufacturing” by Paragon Freight, Inc. Trustee Saad Abbasy seconded the motion, and the vote denying the change was unanimous.

The neighbors present for the vote silently expressed joy and relief.

About 20 minutes later, during the public comment section of the meeting, Jackie Taylor approached the microphone on behalf of her neighbors. Asking the group of neighbors to rise, she said to the Board, “I am so glad that you guys heard our voices. I just want to thank each and every one of you guys for that. You brought so much relief to us.”

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Jackie Taylor (standing) addressed Mayor Eidam and the Board on behalf of her neighbors. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Taylor also praised Mayor Eidam, citing other examples of issues the mayor had resolved. “You are truly a mayor of action,” said Taylor.

The area around 3125 Glenwood Lansing is currently zoned B2 (community service and retail), though several of the businesses in that zone were grandfathered in as M1 (limited manufacturing) when the zoning was changed in 2003. Paragon Freight, an M1 business, had appeared before the Planning and Zoning Commission on October 13 and before the Village Board on November 2 to request the rezoning.

With the Board voting to deny the rezoning, Paragon Freight will not be able to legally operate at that location.

Village Administrator Dan Podgorski had said at the November 2 meeting, “If [3125 Glenwood Lansing Road] doesn’t get rezoned, it will stay B2. And what does that mean? It means that as a municipality we start looking at other B2 uses to start putting in here. … We’re going to start looking for places like a grocery store, a fast food place, a Walgreens, a CVS, something that’s B2.” A B2 business would not have to come before the Planning and Zoning Board or the Village Board for approval to operate in that location.

Lansing Village Board meetings usually begin at 7:00pm on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at the Police and Court Complex (Lansing Police Department), 2710 170th Street, Lansing.

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