Some Vandalia residents upset about 1M square-foot warehouse proposal

VANDALIA — A developer is seeking city approval to construct a 1 million square-foot warehouse on 67 acres of vacant land off Northwoods Boulevard in Vandalia.

Vandalia’s planning commission declined to recommend approval of a conditional use in a meeting late last month, citing issues with the plans adhering to permit requirements for the land, which is zoned office/industrial park.

The proposal will be officially presented to city council on July 18, and a vote is tentatively set to take place Aug. 1, City Manager Dan Wendt said.

The developer, Ambrose Property Group, submitted a proposal to the city for the construction of an up to 1,050,000 square-foot warehouse facility with ancillary offices on the 67-acre site, located north of Halifax Drive, west of Cassel Road.

A warehouse use for this parcel of land is conditionally permitted based on a set of criteria, according to the city’s zoning code, Wendt said. Conditional use projects must adhere to requirements considerate of surrounding property, residents, traffic, and utilities.

Several residents publicly called on the city to deny the warehouse plans as they currently stand, with some submitting letters to council and speaking at last month’s planning commission meeting.

“This (project) directly impacts the residents in that area,” said Jack Froschauer in a letter to the city. “It does, moreover, represent further reaching consequences to the entire city of Vandalia.”

Froschauer said the warehouse project would negatively impact quality of life of the area’s residents, and asked city officials to consider the environmental and infrastructural effects of allowing the plans to move forward.

“As green space surrounding the airport has been plowed under, it has delivered dire influences on Vandalia,” Froschauer wrote. “The planner needs to develop a report on this impact. There is no justification for residents to live in a polluted space because of this rush to development.”

According to Wendt, the conditional use request is part of the developer’s due diligence process, and the land is currently owned by CSX railroad. No potential end user has been announced.

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