A new Target store is closer to opening in Lake Bluff after an amended site plan recently got the first of three approvals needed to start construction.
The village's Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals last week gave developers the initial OK to decrease the size of the proposed Target by 10 percent. Along with that, another building on the property nearly doubled in size, resulting in a decrease in the number of parking spots.
Officials said it's another step toward getting demolition work underway by spring, with a goal of breaking ground on the Target and three adjacent buildings by fall.
Mary Collins, member of the Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, said she thought the smaller parking lot and inclusion of additional landscaping would make the development on Route 176 between Waukegan Road and Route 41 more appealing.
"I do support this change," she said. "I think it's going to be a much better image in that area, and I'm just generally pleased with and supportive of it."
Still, one plan commission member said he still had some concerns about the project, which will include a 126,000-square-foot Target and the three smaller retail buildings.
Michael Goldsberry wondered if the change would create a congestion problem if a high-traffic business such as a restaurant were to move into one of the other stores.
"My concern still remains what happens to the traffic on (Route) 176 and the surrounding area," he said. "I hope I'm wrong about that, but I still have some concerns with what this space can do."
Goldsberry was the only member of the Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals to vote against the amended site plan.
Mark Kaltsas, a representative of Target who presented the plan to the board, said studies haven't shown any evidence that traffic would be negatively affected because of the new stores.
The proposal includes one entrance lane and three exit lanes, along with right- and left-turn lanes.
Shagbark Road would be extended and act as the main entrance and exit to the development, according to village documents.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is contributing about $580,000 toward the road improvements, officials said.
Also included are a bicycle path, pedestrian crosswalks, a stormwater detention facility and plaza area.
The site, at 930 Carriage Park Ave., was formerly home to Shepard Chevrolet, which closed about two years ago.
The plan will now need to pass through Lake Bluff's Architectural Board of Review before going to the village board for final approval.
Assistant Village Administrator Brandon Stanick said dates for those hearings had not yet been scheduled.