A car meet was held on February 3 at the Woodland Commons Shopping Center at Route 22 and Buffalo Grove Road in Buffalo Grove in honor of Joseph Zephries (left), who was fatally struck by a car in Huntley in January. | Left Photo: GoFundMe; Right photo submitted to Lake and McHenry County Scanner

A business owner is asking village officials to take action after he says a large car meet in Buffalo Grove – held to honor a utility worker killed in Huntley last month – caused his store and others to lose sales and created safety concerns.

The car meet was held on February 3 at the Woodland Commons Shopping Center at Route 22 and Buffalo Grove Road in Buffalo Grove to honor Joseph Zephries.

Zephries, 20, was struck and killed by a car in January in Huntley while he was performing utility work along the roadway for USIC.

Cody Romano, the co-owner of Everything Games located at the shopping center, spoke at the Buffalo Grove village board meeting on February 5.

A car meet was held on February 3 at the Woodland Commons Shopping Center at Route 22 and Buffalo Grove Road in Buffalo Grove in honor of a USIC worker who was fatally struck by a car in Huntley in January. | Photo submitted to Lake and McHenry County Scanner

Romano said the car meet, which was held on private property, was “really rough” for the businesses at the shopping center and the nearby residents.

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“We had multiple people that were unable to shop at our store, causing us major losses, as well as a lot of people in my strip mall,” Romano said.

“There was a lot of safety concerns going on as well. Staff of mine were not able to go and take their lunches properly because they were in fear of going out and being, potentially if something happens, indistinguishable from those that were gathering.”

A car meet was held on February 3 at the Woodland Commons Shopping Center at Route 22 and Buffalo Grove Road in Buffalo Grove in honor of a USIC worker who was fatally struck by a car in Huntley in January. | Photo submitted to Lake and McHenry County Scanner

Romano said there was unsafe driving due to the congestion and trash was left “all over the place” in nearby neighborhoods.

“We lost out on about a projected 5,000 dollars in sales that day, not including all the bathrooms that were being used at Mariano’s and all the other businesses that we’re now paying the bill for,” Romano said. “We want to be able to not only support our businesses, support our community, but that’s not helping the police department and that’s not helping the fire department.”

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“If someone had a gun, if someone had something going on, if someone was in a situation where they were sick and they needed an ambulance, Buffalo Grove Road and (Route) 22, a major intersection, was basically unusable,” Romano added.

A car meet was held on February 3 at the Woodland Commons Shopping Center at Route 22 and Buffalo Grove Road in Buffalo Grove in honor of a USIC worker who was fatally struck by a car in Huntley in January. | Photo submitted to Lake and McHenry County Scanner

Romano called the financial losses “inexcusable” and said, “I also really hope that those that were involved are fined properly.”

He said that Buffalo Grove police were unable to take action on the gathering because it was on private property.

Romano asked the village board to adopt an ordinance that would require a permit for large gatherings.

“We were fortunate that nothing major happened, but what if it did?” Romano said as he finished his comment.