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Local News

Will County officials say NorthPoint decision is months away

Developer plans to build its own water system

An Elwood public hearing on the NorthPoint plan was stretched out over three meetings because of the intense opposition and public comment on the project.
An Elwood public hearing on the NorthPoint plan was stretched out over three meetings because of the intense opposition and public comment on the project.

Will County officials say it will be at least several months before NorthPoint’s plans for an industrial park go to the county board for a vote, and there are questions in the meantime.

NorthPoint on Tuesday filed an application with the county for rezoning of 670 acres that it had unsuccessfully tried to annex to Elwood for its Compass Business Park.

The fact that the land is not within a municipality creates “huge, huge issues,” Will County Executive Larry Walsh said. “No sewer, no water, no local police protection.”

The county has no utilities. Without access to Elwood water, NorthPoint would most likely have to develop its own water and sewer system.

And, that’s what the developer plans to do.

“We’re going to proceed with our own infrastructure,” NorthPoint spokesman Scott Burnham said. “We are prepared to build our own water and sanitary sewer system.”

Such an undertaking would be rare but not unprecedented. County Board Speaker James Moustis, R-Frankfort, noted that the Gateway Manufactured Home Community built its own water and sewer system when the village of Frankfort refused to annex the land.

Moustis said a county board vote on the NorthPoint plan is months away.

“This is probably a minimum of a four-month process, and that’s not sandbagging,” he said. “The normal zoning case takes three or four months. People have to understand that’s how long the process takes.”

This is far from a normal zoning case.

The public hearing on NorthPoint’s attempt to annex to Elwood stretched over three meetings and was moved to a school gym to accommodate hundreds who attended and scores of people speaking out on the plan.

The 670 acres in unincorporated Will County is contiguous to land NorthPoint already owns in Elwood. The Elwood land already has industrial zoning, and would be part of the Compass Business Park totaling 851 acres, Burnham said.

Gone from the plan is the proposed bridge over Route 53 that would have taken trucks off local roads on the way to nearby intermodal yards.

“The village of Elwood didn’t want to vote on that proposal,” Burnham said. “So we are moving forward with an alternate plan on the land that we own.”

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