City approves new business development

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) --  A new business development will be moving into Decatur, but not everyone's happy about the decision.

A shopping center will soon be built on the corner of U.S. 51 and West Ash Avenue. The decision was made at the city council meeting Tuesday night. But not before many people got up to talk about why that could have a negative impact.

1.6 acres will be rezoned for the plan along West Ash Avenue and Route 51. The center will be around 11 thousand square feet and will include two restaurant spaces, Chipotle being one of them, two retail stores and possibly a medical office. 

 Ash Avenue is a street full of houses and this location is the second busiest intersection in Macon County. The council meeting was packed with people who are very worried that these new businesses could bring more traffic and become a safety issue.

Pat Donnelly lives on W. Ash Avenue and he says, "It is upsetting. It’s fear of the unknown obviously we all have that. I think looking at the developers themselves they appear to be people that want to work with the neighbors so I look at that as a positive."

Mayor Julie Wolfe said, "These are some of the hardest decisions a city council make. Raising taxes is hard this is harder because it affect people’s neighborhoods their home, your homes your largest investment so this is never an easy decision but it was the right thing for the rest of the community.”

The developers say the high traffic count makes it the most desirable area for business development and this is the ideal location for it.

The new center is only permitted for restaurants, medical offices and retail shops. Nothing else is allowed to be there under the current permit.

Also, city council approved building a new fire station. That’ll be on West Mound Road near North Water Street. It’ll cost around two million dollars. Several retirement and nursing homes have been built around there in the past 10 years. The fire chief says this new station will help them reach the north side of town faster. 


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