A new car wash that will replace a fast food restaurant near a busy Bloomington intersection has made plans to ease traffic concerns in the area.
The site plan for the Club Carwash at the northeast intersection of Oakland Avenue and Veterans Parkway received unanimous support from the Bloomington City Council at Monday’s meeting. The new business replacing the closed Hardee’s will have limited access from Oakland.
Council member Jeff Crabill pulled the item from the consent agenda after some of his constituents raised concerns about the traffic pattern. He said cars attempting to turn left into the lot often caused bottlenecks.
“I, as well as many others, use that Oakland Avenue at Veterans (intersection) to get to State Farm,” said Crabill. “It’s always busy in the morning and the evening, and when Hardee’s was open you just had people trying to cut over through traffic to make left-hand turns.”
Updated plans for the site call for a raised “pork chop” median at the south entrance, restricting access to the eastbound lanes by allowing only right turns to and from Oakland. Additionally, the Oakland entrance has been moved to the east end of the property. The primary entrance to the car wash will be on the north side of the lot off Eldorado Road.
Crabill said he expected his constituents won’t be completely satisfied but called the plan a good compromise.
“Other council members had heard from their constituents as well,” said City Manager Tim Gleason. “The plan commission really did address those issues and (the revisions) seemed to satisfy not only the plan commission obviously, but also council and ended up getting a unanimous vote.”
All other items up for a vote Monday remained on the consent agenda, which also passed by a 9-0 vote. Among them were plans for a Texas Roadhouse restaurant at Bloomington Commons, liquor licenses for Harmony Korean BBQ on Currency Drive and for the Bloomington Tennis Center, and a permanent premise extension for Binny’s Beverage Depot.
Gleason said the new businesses show that Bloomington is “taking advantage of its opportunities.”
“I don’t want to exaggerate and say that things are exactly where we want them to be,” he said. “But Bloomington and Normal, like Champaign and Urbana, we are two thriving communities downstate, and there’s not many other regions except for these two that can say that.”
The Texas Roadhouse will be built just northeast of and parallel to the Olive Garden on one of the shopping center’s newly subdivided five lots. The west half of the vacant Toys “R” Us building will be demolished to add more parking spaces, with the remaining portion to serve as a proposed anchor.
Binny’s needed the premise extension after moving into the adjacent space vacated by Outback Steakhouse, which relocated to an Eastland Mall lot directly across Veterans from Olive Garden.
Harmony Korean BBQ, an Epiphany Farms Hospitality Group operation at the former Hiyashi Japanese location on the city’s south side, received a restaurant liquor license. The Bloomington Tennis Center on Wicker Road was granted an entertainment liquor license.
Gleason said the city’s ability to attract new restaurants and retailers has been “by design.”
“I think we’re very fortunate and we’re a good place for a business to expand or relocate,” he said.
The council also authorized a $121,000 annual renewal of the city’s workforce management software, and Mayor Tari Renner read a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the formation of the League of Women Voters.
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