City staff Wednesday pushed for several design changes in plans for an Aldi supermarket on Oakton Street.

The proposal for the market, at the east edge of the Home Depot shopping center, was tabled by the Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee to give the developers time to rework their plans.

The proposed 16,000 square foot store would be located just east of the existing PetSmart store.

The Aldi chain offers a limited selection of about 1,300 grocery items at deeply discounted prices.

A rendering of a typical Aldi store design.

Plans presented by the contract purchaser of the site, Jm Conroy, and Brian Holcombe of Aldi show an open space between the two buildings that might be used for future expansion of the supermarket.

The vacant lot in the Home Depot center proposed for the Aldi store.

But several city representatives at the meeting said they feared the open area would become an eyesore filled with trash and graffiti.

They suggested either either eliminating the open space entirely or filling the gap between the stores with a solid wall designed to match the look of the Aldi store.

Holcombe said Aldi probably wouldn’t consider the expansion for a decade or more, but that the store’s design would make expanding into the space between the two buildings more efficient than adding on to the front or rear of the store.

There were no objections to plans for handling deliveries.

Conroy said trucks would enter the shopping center and drive behind the west side of the Home Depot and approach the Aldi loading dock from the rear.

An existing driveway onto Hartrey Avenue at the east side of the shopping center would remain gated and locked and would be available only for fire department access.

Gaps in the buffer of plantings shielding homes across Hartrey from views of the center.

Planning Director Dennis Marino said the new project should improve the existing buffer zone of trees separating the shopping center from the single family homes on the other side of Hartrey and Conroy suggested that city staff meet with him at the site to determine which trees need to be replaced.

Site Plan Committee Chair Walter Hallen and others suggested that the building should be constructed of standard size brick rather than the concrete block shown on the plans.

The aldermen representing the wards near the site are planning to hold a community meeting next month to gather residents’ comments about the project.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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