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Approval recommended for 56-home subdivision on former Berteau property

ELMHURST – The Zoning and Planning Commission on Thursday recommended approval of Nitti Development's 56-home subdivision and right-a-way variance request with two caveats.

"I don't think that it's a safe bet to make such a small parkway," commissioner Daniel Corrado said.

The developer has requested a 50-foot right of way, instead of the typical 66 feet. This would effectively shrink the parkways between the curb and sidewalk on a U-shaped street the developer plans to put in the subdivision where the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Berteau campus used to operate.

The commission agreed to grant the variance but asked for a 5-foot easement that would allow the city to push the sidewalk back from the curb and create 11-foot parkways.

The commission also needed to give a recommendation on the subdivision's tentative plat because it is larger than 1 acre and would require the dedication of public streets.

One stipulation the commission agreed to add applied to the developer's plan to install underground stormwater storage tanks on each lot.

"Of course the concern always is what happens if people don't maintain their stuff and it stops working," Zoning and Planning Administrator Than Werner said.

The commission added a restriction that each title mention the homeowner is responsible for maintaining the tank.

During discussion, commissioners talked about whether the U-shaped street would create a community within a community, but ultimately agreed that other cul-de-sacs in the area did not make it completely out of character with the neighborhood.

"We want these homes to be a part of this community. We don't want this to be separate," commissioner Susan Rose said.

Overall, the commission agreed the proposed subdivision would be a great improvement to the area.

"I think the subdivision was really well thought out in that it could have been so much more dense," commissioner Brendan Hill said.

While residents expressed concerns about how construction might disrupt their neighborhood during the previous public hearing on the matter, the commission was not able to address those through the variance request.

They did agree that construction and other concerns residents raised were important and decided to at least express them in the report.

"it doesn't hurt when good faith people come out and have comments about these things because it is a necessary need to be heard," chairman Darrell Whistler said.

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