The D'Arcy Motors plan for expansion on Essington Road received preliminary approval from two city panels Thursday amid concerns raised by several nearby residents.
D'Arcy Hyundai, now on Jefferson Street, would be moved to the Essington Road location where the dealer now sells Buicks and GMC vehicles, according to the plan presented to the Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals and Plan Commission.
Both boards unanimously recommended approval to the City Council, which will make the final decision.
Neighbors, however, raised concerns about the expansion of the dealership closer to nearby residences.
"I've always been a good corporate citizen of Joliet, and I want to treat this as if it was in my backyard," Terry D'Arcy told the zoning board.
D'Arcy said he has met with some neighbors of the dealership to discuss the expansion.
Jim Maher, however, asked that a vote be delayed so neighbors could go over the extensive plans, which include six zoning variances.
"Generally, I object that the expansion will be a continued intrusion of a business presence into what had been a residential area," Maher said.
The dealership at 2022 Essington Road would be expanded to 28.4 acres with the addition of the Hyundai franchise.
The variances were approved by the zoning board, which has final say on the issue. The City Council still must approve a special use permit and development plan for the project.
Erika Koty, who lives in the Warwick subdivision, said she was concerned about flooding in an area that is saturated for much of the year and the impact of additional lighting.
"We don't want our homes lit up like O'Hare airport every night," Koty said.
D'Arcy said the lighting on the end of the property near homes will be low-level when lit and turned off completely when no cars are there.
He also said added drainage operations including a retention pond could relieve flooding in the nearby neighborhoods.
"I've talked with a few of your neighbors, and I understand your water problem," he told another resident who brought up the flooding issue.