ELWOOD – Elwood village officials decided to continue the village Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday night to January after public comment stretched into the late hours of the evening.
Organizers needed to find extra seating for the hundreds who attended the meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall, 401 E. Mississippi Ave., Elwood, so officials would not violate the Open Meetings Act.
About 200 waited outside. Organizers had seating for 600 and added seats for 100 more. The village has a population of about 2,300, according to data on the village’s website.
Attendees gathered to listen to Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Greg Hickey and representatives from NorthPoint and comment on the Missouri-based company’s Compass Business Park, which would require rezoning 851 acres of land. NorthPoint also wants Elwood to annex 675 acres of that land for the project.
The public comment portion went on until about 11 p.m., when organizers decided to adjourn and continue the meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 11, Village Administrator Marian Gibson said. It again will be held at Village Hall.
Residents appeared to be skeptical of the company’s attempts to convince the audience that the project will benefit the Elwood, Manhattan and Jackson Township communities economically. Residents of all three have been critical of the proposal in the past, citing a potential increase in truck traffic, among other concerns.
NorthPoint representatives also tried to highlight their transparency in the Compass Business Park plan’s development process and proposal for a “closed loop” to keep trucks off Route 53.