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Clarendon Hills Downtown Master Plan moves forward

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 11:50 a.m. CST
Caption
(Image provided)
A view north on South Prospect Avenue at Park Avenue, the image illustrates corner bump-outs and brick-paved crosswalks to provide additional public gathering spaces and reinforce pedestrian safety. Dowtown branding through the installation of pergolas, banners, streetlights, bicycle racks, benches and trach/recycling containers of a predtermined design and material are also depicted.
Caption
(Image provided)
The image illustrates the redevlopment of the properties at the southwest corner of Burlington Avenue and South Prospect Avenue for a mixed use building with a plaza for outdoor dining and public gathering. The plan also incorporates corner bump-outs and brick-paved crosswalks to provide additional gathering spaces and reinforce pedestrian safety.

CLARENDON HILLS – The Clarendon Hills Planning and Zoning Board heard little dissent to the Downtown Master Plan during the first public hearing.

On June 26, only a few residents voiced concerns during the first of two public hearings, but there is an topic that has created a bit of a stir between residents.

“The biggest issue that’s coming out of it is the potential heights of the buildings,” Greg Jordan, chairman of the master plan land use committee, said.

The first hearing was aimed at the design goals of downtown, however, that didn’t keep residents who attended the June meeting from voicing their concerns that taller buildings in the downtown area could do more than just disrupt the scenic view.

“There are people who think that is troubling to them because they think that would change the character of the downtown,” Jordan said.

Clarendon Hills Community Development Director Dan Ungerleider said other residents have expressed opinions that buildings should not be limited in height.

“We had one gentleman who said we should have a building taller than five stories,” Ungerleider said.

While Ungerleider explained that there have been residents on both sides of the issue, he said there is one point that will determine how tall the village can grow.

“Is it financially feasible is the question,” he said.

The second scheduled Clarendon Hills Village Hall meeting on July 17 is for discussing land use issues related to the Master Plan, including the issue of how tall a building can be.

A design idea that has stayed with the plan so far is to include a Park Avenue bike route, which would run through the downtown from Hinsdale to Westmont.

Jordan said the bike path may not make it in the final plan.

“I don’t know whether it’s going to go forward or not,” he said.

But Ungerleider disagreed, adding that the bike path is currently still part of the plan, and if the plan is approved staff should start working with the community on the bike route.

Another part of past discussions has been the possibility of combining the Metra station, Village Hall, library and post office into a multiple use facility that houses all three buildings. This would be done in order to free up those properties for other uses.

However, Jordan said the desire and the ability to do so are not soon to be aligned.

“That’s far off,” he said.

The next step following the public hearing recommendations will be whether to approve, change or deny the new master plan draft.

If passed, the plan would then go back to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

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For more more information on the downtown master plan, visit http://www.clarendonhills.us/downtownplanning.cfm.

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