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Normal being asked to rezone 21 acres for pipe storage

Normal being asked to rezone 21 acres for pipe storage

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NORMAL - A Canadian company hoping to build a crude-oil pipeline through McLean, Livingston and DeWitt counties wants to temporarily store the pipe on land in west Normal.

Enbridge Inc. is asking Normal to rezone 21 acres southwest of the intersection of Wylie Drive and West College Avenue from its current business zoning to manufacturing to accommodate the temporary storage.

The planning commission will have a public hearing on the request at 5 p.m. Nov. 8 in the council chambers of City Hall, 100 E. Phoenix Ave.

Enbridge already has use of about 30 acres at the southwest corner of Wylie, College and Hovey Avenue for the same purpose. That property already is zoned for manufacturing and temporary storage of the pipe is allowed.

Building Director Greg Troemel said Enbridge needs to accommodate between 70 and 80 miles of pipe so the extra parcel is needed.

Troemel said the town is recommending waiving design standards for the 21 acres because it would be used only temporarily. Enbridge is asking for use of the property for 15 months, he said. If the company needs the property longer, it would have to meet town requirements for such things as landscaping.

Enbridge is in the midst of an Illinois Commerce Commission case regarding the planned 170-mile pipeline that would stretch from Pontiac to Patoka in southern Illinois. The company has asked the ICC to take property needed for the project by eminent domain if good-faith negotiations with landowners don't work.

The project affects about 95 McLean County landowners, 68 in Livingston County and 65 in DeWitt County.

Bloomington attorney Mercer Turner represents some of the landowners; LeRoy attorney Tom Pliura represents others along the route.

Turner had no comment about the Normal hearing but Pliura said he plans to attend even though it is not connected to the ICC hearing. Eminent domain gives government authority to compel property owners to sell land at market value for public good.

"I'll fight it every way I can," Pliura said. "I oppose it in this area."


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