The Forest Park Village Council, Feb. 25, gave the green light to an energy-efficient row house development at 315 Burkhardt Court.

Although Scott Sanders of Brightleaf Homes had hopes of beginning construction sooner, the project was delayed by issues raised by Forest Park Plan Commission members at a December meeting and concerns expressed by neighbors at a commission meeting in February.

No residents addressed the council at the Feb. 25 meeting prior to officials unanimously passing the ordinance granting the site plan for the development.

In a memo to officials, Steve Glinke, director of the Department of Public Health and Safety, noted that the project is in full compliance and Sanders was not required to request any variations.

He said plan commission members raised issues regarding drive aisle conflicts, landscaping, and flood control at the December meeting and neighbors expressed concerns about flooding at the February meeting.

Mayor Anthony Calderone said all issues and concerns had been addressed.

“It was all handled at the plan commission meetings,” Calderone said. “It all worked out well.”

Under the project, Brightleaf will replace a vacant multifamily home with three detached townhomes. Because of the small lot size and lack of alley, Sanders said, the townhomes will be situated from front to back on the property, rather than left to right along Burkhardt, as would be typical. Three garages will join the townhomes. 

Sanders originally hoped to have the project ready by spring; now he thinks it will be completed by the summer. Once it’s done, he plans to live in one of the townhomes and pre-sell the other two for more than $500,000 each. 

In 2015, Brightleaf Homes built what was termed the most energy-efficient house in Forest Park at 7736 Monroe St. 

It is the village’s first Zero Energy Ready Home, a distinction awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the first residence built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, a ratings system established by a Washington D.C. nonprofit in the 1990s to certify “green” buildings.

Founded in 2008 by Sanders, BrightLeaf is a Chicago-area construction company focused on building “high-performance, sustainable” residences. According to the firm’s website, BrightLeaf has managed the construction of over 100 homes and retrofitted an additional 100 residents to improve energy efficiency.

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