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Flossmoor Village Board approves plans for Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins

Plans for a Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins at 3608 Vollmer Road can move forward after the Flossmoor Village Board gave unanimous approval Jan. 7.
The 2,500-square-foot restaurant with drive-thru is planned for construction at the intersection of Vollmer Road and Central Park Avenue, across the street from the Park Place cul-de-sac. 
The board voted against a negative recommendation from the Flossmoor Plan Commission based on concerns for neighborhood traffic, vehicle access and the lack of a full concept plan for adjacent spaces. 
The commission hosted a public hearing Dec. 20 where several residents who live near the vacant properties spoke against the development because of potential traffic problems.
Mayor Paul Braun said residents who live across from the Meijer development brought forth similar concerns before the store was built.
“I think the residents of Park Place have known for a very long time that everything westbound was going to be a commercial or retail development, so it’s no surprise,” he said. “I can understand their concern. I don’t particularly view that (traffic) is going to be an issue overall.”
Village Attorney Kathleen Field-Orr suggested changing the village’s process so that commissioners would not be asked to vote on an idea with limited information and no indication of board support.
Hosting a public hearing on a concept plan is “very strange” compared to other municipalities and unfair to commissioners, Field-Orr said.
“(The public) should have an opportunity to give their opinions when we have a finite plan,” she said.
Field-Orr also said the board should not be put into a position to contradict those who are volunteering to serve as commissioners, as the trustees and mayor are the ones who are accountable to the public.
“Based on logic, this board should be first,” she said.
Braun said village staff would look into the issue and may bring it up at a future meeting. 
Trustee Perry Hoag said he believes 3608 Vollmer Road would be “a perfect spot for this type of development.”
Trustee James Wilder said he wants residents’ concerns to be taken seriously by the developer moving forward.
“I support the concept,” Wilder said. “I just hope that they are good corporate stewards and do listen to some of the residents and their concerns and comply with them as well.”
Trustee Diane Williams also said she had no issue supporting the proposal.
“I trust that as we go through the process, if there’s serious problems, those problems will be raised and they’ll be addressed at that point in time.”
Braun added that he and village staff have worked hard to bring development to the vacant area on Vollmer Road.
“I believe this to be a very good business economic opportunity for the village,” he said. “I can understand the plan commission’s concern about not having too much knowledge of what might go on outside of this particular development, but I also think this will jumpstart the other side of the whole development out there on Vollmer Road.“
He said he was unsure of a timeline for construction of the Dunkin’ Donuts development.

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