CLARENDON HILLS – Voting nearly unanimously, the Clarendon Hills Village Board approved a plan that would bring an eight-unit condo development to the corner of Prospect and Park avenues at Monday's village board meeting.
All board members excluding Trustee Eric Stach voted in favor of the proposal. Stach voiced his disapproval before final vote was taken stating that approving the development could mean a slippery slope for the village.
"If this is approved, what's to stop the owner of the Starbuck's and State Farm building to say, 'Now I want an eight-unit condo building on my property with no retail business?'" Stach asked.
Stach said he didn't believe an eight-unit condo development would benefit the village and said there would be a "ripple effect" for other buildings like it, which he was not convinced would be a positive one.
The trustee was not alone in his disapproval as, much like the first consideration meeting Oct. 7, several residents turned out to voice concerns about the construction at 103 S. Prospect Ave., including resident Andy Schmidt, who questioned the process the trustees were going through when considering approval.
Citing data from downtown master plan meetings, Schmidt said it was clear that residents wanted small town charm with no rapid change, which he believed the board wasn't considering in its decision.
"That was loud and clear at every meeting, so when I see the process failing, and when I see people using rationale to their own individual benefit and their beliefs, and not the beliefs of the village, I take issue and exception to it," Schmidt said.
Not all residents were opposed to the construction, including George Kinsella, who said he was tired of looking at a vacant field and was happy to see an investor willing to put money into the village. He said he had a few minor quarrels with the building, but overall loved the design and encouraged the board to vote in favor sooner rather than later.
"I've seen the drawings, I've seen the renderings…I think it's gorgeous," Kinsella said. "Man, if we don't move forward, we're moving backwards."
Even though he voted yes, Trustee Edward Reid made a motion before the final vote to table the issue because of of concerns he had with the design of the building, but the motion failed before final vote.
As Village President Thomas Karaba stated at the Oct. 7 meeting, he liked the designs brought forth and more so thought this was the type of structure the downtown needed moving forward over the next few years when it comes to changes being done.
"We need a change," Karaba said. "We need a good positive change over time of our entire downtown. If we do not change we will die, and I personally think that this is a great start to that change. It's not an end it's only the beginning."
The project was also approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals and Plan Commission during its Aug. 22 meeting, and the Downtown Design Review Commission reviewed and approved the development during a meeting Aug. 27.
The three-story development is proposed to be 40 feet in height with the south end of the building, nearest residential property, to have a 25-foot setback in compliance with the village's zoning ordinance, according to a news release from the village. Unit sizes will also vary from 1,605 square feet to 2,520 square feet.