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Elmhurst to vote on Nitti Development requests

Published: Friday, May 16, 2014 3:50 p.m. CDT

ELMHURST – Among several decisions the Elmhurst City Council is expected to make Monday regarding Nitti Development, one is how much to charge the developer for Avon Road.

The Public Works and Buildings Committee could not come to a consensus on the developer's request for the eastern 59 feet of the Avon Road right of way, which would purposely leave the sidewalk on the west side of the road. City policy calls for negotiations to begin at 50 percent of the equalized assessed value of the property, which would be about $117,000.

The majority of committee members saw Nitti's commitment to construct a new U-shaped street out of permeable pavers and to provide on-site storm water storage on each of the 56 lots in the proposed subdivision, as ample compensation for the Avon Road property.

"I'm trying not to think of it as us giving this up so much as it's really more of a trade off," said First Ward Alderman and committee member Diane Gutenkauf.

City staff calculated Nitti Development's plan will provide $495,750 worth of storm water management above what would be required by DuPage County and Elmhurst's new policy for new single-family home construction.

Assistant Public Works Director Cori Tiberi said the permeable paver street and individual lot storage proposed by Nitti Development would create about 1.45 acre feet of storm water storage.

Chairman and Sixth Ward Alderman Jim Kennedy, Vice Chairman and Fifth Ward Alderman Chris Healy and Gutenkauf all agreed to sell the property to Nitti for $1 plus the cost of legal fees to prepare the agreement.

"I can't be agreeable, knowing that this is a city asset, to pretty much giving away this right of way for free," said Third Ward Alderman and committee member Michael Bram.

Even though he expressed his excitement to see the storm water management projects proposed for the site, Bram believed the city policy of 50 percent of EAV was even too generous.

"It is an asset, but when I look at the balance between what we're getting and what we're giving up, I think the residents of Elmhurst come out ahead on the deal," Healy said.

Healy added that he would be more in favor of a higher impact fee, which would benefit the park and school districts. The Finance, Council Affairs & Administrative Services Committee plans to review the city's current impact fees.

The Public Works and Buildings committee plans to submit a majority report with a minority report by Bram. Healy suggested the reports hold Nitti to its proposed storm water storage systems, and disqualify the developer from any future incentives the city establishes for implementing storm water mitigation.

The city council is expected to vote on both the report and corresponding ordinance Monday along with a subdivision agreement and requested variance for a 50-foot right of way for the proposed U-shaped street.

"It is time sensitive," said Mayor Steve Morley during the committee meeting.

He explained that the contract between Nitti Development and Elmhurst Memorial Hospital will be affected if the city does not decide on the requests Monday.

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