Recent work on property owned by FLM Enterprises LLC is prompting concern for the city’s future growth and its current residents.


Recent work on property owned by FLM Enterprises LLC is prompting concern for the city’s future growth and its current residents.

An employee in the Peoria County’s Department of Planning and Zoning apparently rendered an opinion that is allowing FLM Enterprises to remove the storage on the land.

“She made a ruling in her mind that the permit that follows the land is viable for the storage and, therefore, gives them the right to storage,” said Mayor Gary Fyke.

Officials are concerned, though, that clearing the storage will not be all the landowners plan.

The area, between Sycamore Street and Truitt Road, is part of land Steve Maxheimer petitioned Peoria County in 2001-02 for a special-use permit for mining. He withdrew his petition in 2002 a few months before his death.

In the 1970s, Martin Marietta received a special-use permit for the land, but abandoned it with the sand and topsoil left as it was.

Fyke said city officials interpret that once the land was no longer mined for 180 days, then the permit was no longer valid.

"If all the operations other than storage are dead, then why wouldn't storage be dead, too?" Fyke asked.

The Chillicothe City Council already is utilizing special city attorney Dan Schroeder.
Schroeder was recently hired to handle the city’s issues should anyone try to mine gravel west of town.

“The situation is being reviewed at the states’ attorney’s office at this time,” said Peoria County administrator Patrick Ulrich. “I understand that there is a previous proceeding that needs to be reviewed, as well. Matters concerning this property go back 30 years, so there is a significant amount of information that needs to be reviewed before a formal statement will be made.”

The council went into closed session Monday night for possible litigation and also an unrelated purchase of property.

No action was taken in open session.

“We’re real concerned about what’s going to happen here,” said Fyke.

He also said the city was not  notified about this opinion and was not given a proper manner to voice objections.

The use of the land as a gravel pit is not in keeping with the city's comprehensive plan, which is on file with Peoria County and the Tri-County Planning Commission, Fyke said.

City attorney Mike Seghetti is not handling the case due to his law firm partner, John Elias, handling only the probate of Maxheimer’s estate.

Maxheimer was buying the former RC Modeler land contract-for-deed with Joe LaHood. LaHood is a part of FLM Enterprises LLC.

Not wanting Maxheimer’s children to own real estate in their own names, the law firm created FLM Enterprises LLC.

To avoid any conflict of interest, the city hired Schroeder to handle gravel pit issues.

“We’re trying to resolve this in a non-legal manner,” said Fyke, adding officials think an official opinion could come in a week.