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Government

Elmhurst Extended Care issue heads back to commission

Elmhurst resident Jay McNichols (fourth from right) addresses Elmhurst's Development, Planning and Zoning Committee during public comment at the Aug. 28 meeting.
Elmhurst resident Jay McNichols (fourth from right) addresses Elmhurst's Development, Planning and Zoning Committee during public comment at the Aug. 28 meeting.

ELMHURST – The decision on Elmhurst Extended Care Center's request for a facility expansion is going back to the Zoning and Planning Commission, following the nursing home's submission of a new site plan.

Because the new plan is a "substantial change" from what went through the public hearing process, the Development, Planning and Zoning Committee felt the plan needed to go through the process again to give the public an opportunity to comment and the applicant an opportunity to present the plan to the commission, Assistant City Manager Michael Kopp said.

Kopp said the issue might be scheduled for the Oct. 17 commission public hearing. The commission is "pretty much booked up until then," and the scheduling needs to fulfill advanced public notice requirements, he said.

The commission will then make a recommendation back to the Development, Planning and Zoning Committee, Kopp said.

Alderman and committee Chairman Michael Honquest said the city had been legally advised to bring the issue back to the commission. Attorney Andrew Acker, of City Attorney Donald Storino's law firm, Storino, Ramello & Durkin, was present at the Aug. 28 Development, Planning and Zoning Committee meeting.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center plans to expand its current facilities on a parcel of land it purchased south of its current building at 200 E. Lake St. The center needs to increase its size in order to conform with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, as the center has few private rooms and its communal space is "inadequate for today's standards," owner and administrator Love Dave wrote in a May 15 letter to the city.

Residents from the neighborhood near the nursing home presented their case during public comment at the committee meeting, including Jay McNichols, who lives on Fremont Avenue.

"So many times we were not allowed to ask questions at commission and committee. ... So many things remain unanswered in this entire case," he said about a perceived lack of transparency on the issue.

Dave said in a phone interview after the meeting that the center wants to make a plan that works for its residents, but he also has received the comments from neighbors who have opposed the expansion.

"We're trying to be as accommodating as possible to the neighbors that are opposed to the project," Dave said.

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