Deerfield officials have hit developers of a grocery store with a list of restrictions designed to appease neighbors’ concerns.
In an unparalleled move, officials directed the village attorney to craft an ordinance limiting the time for deliveries, outlining penalties and giving residents the power to review video footage of the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market store planned for the northeast corner of Waukegan and Lake Cook roads.
“This is kind of an unusual situation,” Trustee Barbara Struthers said. “We have tried very hard to satisfy the neighbors.”
But will it turn off other developers from doing business in Deerfield?
“I wouldn’t think so because this shopping center is kind of unique,” Struthers said. “It backs up on two sides to neighborhoods. There isn’t another shopping center in Deerfield that does that.”
Homeowners who have clashed with the project argue Fresh Thyme will cause a disruption to a residential area bordering the vacancy-riddled Cadwell’s Corners shopping center.
In response, trustees passed an ordinance this month that allows both village officials and a homeowner’s association the ability to monitor video of the property’s delivery area for any infringements.
Deliveries cannot be made before 8 a.m.
“We are hoping that the neighbors will keep us apprised of anything that goes on there that is not in compliance with the ordinance,” Struthers said.
In addition, Fresh Thyme representatives, the owners of the shopping center, village officials and neighbors must meet at least three times annually for the first two years of the pact.
If Fresh Thyme violates the deal, the young Phoenix-based chain could face a as much as $500 in fines.
Cadwell’s Corners, meanwhile, has seen an exodus of several tenants, including discount retailer Stein Mart.
The owners, Newcastle Properties, have floated concepts for the empty storefronts — even a high-rise, officials say.
“The shopping center itself has a problem in that it is not as visible as lot of shopping areas,” Struthers said. “It’s hard to see it.”
But the village is pinning its hopes on the natural foods store to help lure retailers to Cadwell’s Corners.
Fresh Thyme is expected to open in roughly a year, Struthers said.
“We are hoping that the grocery store is very successful and that in brings in more tenants,” she said.