With about 45 people speaking at four minutes each, the meeting ran from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. A handful of people were still in line to speak when meeting was adjourned. The Northbrook plan commission announced a follow-up public input meeting would be held on Monday, Sept. 23, and additional input meetings will continue until no more residents want to weigh in on the store's proposal.
Below are some of the reactions and arguments Northbrook residents made about the big box store.
- A speaker said the single family homes near 1000 Skokie Blvd. would be attractive to would-be criminals who wouldn't be in Northbrook if not for the Walmart nearby.
- A number of people said Walmart traffic would lead to more vehicles on Voltz Road, a nearby road that children take to walk and bike to school.
- A speaker opposed to the store's proposed 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. operating hours asked if Northbrook really wants people entering the village to buy alcohol late at night.
- A few speakers said Walmart would be better suited at the empty site of the former Wonder store at Deerbrook Mall.
- A bicyclists who uses the trails near Dundee Road and Skokie Boulevard said a Walmart in the area and the additional traffic it would bring could create dangerous biking conditions for North Shore's cyclists.
- A volunteer from the nearby Midway Woods forest preserve said the noise and light pollution from the proposed store would burden the area's fragile environment.
- A couple residents said the additional part time jobs Walmart would offer wouldn't add to Northbrook's work force, because the big box store could eliminate nearby small businesses.
- In response to the site owner's plea to rezone the property to make it easier to sell, one speaker argued it's not the village's responsibility to help sell a property the owner knew was zoned for mixed use office developments and not retail space.
- A member of the Braeside Homeowners Association said communities who've allowed a Walmart development have seen upwards of 500 extra police calls per day, as opposed to the 300 possible police calls Walmart representatives said they anticipate.
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