A final vote on a proposed renovation and construction project involving a vacant industrial property is expected next month, after the village attorney got the go-ahead from commissioners this week to draft an ordinance approving the development.
For all the discussion and revision surrounding the proposal for the so-called Roos property on Harrison Street at Circle Avenue, members of the village council Monday said they were eager to push the project forward though they weren’t in agreement on the project itself. Commissioners Patrick Doolin, Mark Hosty and Tim Gillian all expressed an interest in cutting off the discussion and putting the matter to a vote. Doolin, however, prefaced his nay vote and addressed John Schiess, a consultant on the development, expressing his general dislike for putting any housing on the site.
“I’m not voting against you,” Doolin said. “I don’t think this property should ever be developed.”
A 3-2 vote authorized the village attorney to draft an ordinance approving the planned unit development. Commissioner Terry Steinbach joined Doolin in the minority while Hosty and Gillian voted with Mayor Anthony Calderone to approve.
The plan: This architectural drawing of the development slated for 7329 Harrison St. shows the townhouses in front of the condo units looking west from Hannah Avenue.
For more than a year, village staff and various boards have been reviewing what is now a 98-unit residential rehabbing of the vacant Roos site. The former industrial complex will be outfitted to accommodate 70 condominiums while another 28 townhouses will be erected on the 2.45-acre lot at 7329 Harrison St.
Through every stage of the discussion on the plans, concerns with the density of the proposal, parking shortages and traffic impacts were brought to the fore. At Monday’s council meeting, Steinbach emphasized that the 70 condos have only 80 spaces that will be deeded to the residents and that a minimum of 10 existing public parking spaces in the neighborhood will be lost. She also questioned the effectiveness of proposed traffic calming measures, and scoffed at the idea of using curved mirrors to ensure safety.
“I just don’t think that’s the plan that’s going to keep our pedestrians safe,” Steinbach said.
Somewhat mockingly, the mayor asked village staff members how many times they’ve reviewed the plans and met with the developer, making the point that trained professionals have pored over the minutia of the project. The first public hearing on the proposal was held in September of 2005, and it has since undergone three major revisions, according to a memorandum from staff.
The planning commission, village staff and the village administrator all recommended councilors approve the project.
“I believe our staff has spent a lot of time to come up with a very good development,” Hosty said.
It’s expected that the village council will be asked to give its final approval on May 14, the same meeting during which the winners of the April 17 election will be sworn in.