The developers proposing a 163-home subdivision on the Meijer property to continue work on final engineering plans, as well as an annexation agreement back into the .
K. Hovnanian Homes is proposing the subdivision, dubbed Arbor Trails, on the piece of property surrounded by to the east, the Green Trails Shopping Center to the west, and Green Trails subdivision to the south. Maple Avenue will serve as the northern boundary.
The proposed concept includes two distinct home lines, a one-acre park, naturalized areas, and two detention ponds. Developers are proposing eventual walking connections to Green Trails and the university, as well as the construction of a right-turn late from Maple Avenue onto Benedictine Parkway to alleviate east-bound traffic issues.
For the most part developers have been met with support from nearby entities, but are still finalizing agreements with Lisle Park District, Benedictine University, the Green Trails Improvement Association, and DuPage County to successfully carry out the plan as it stands.
The subdivision's park and natural land areas would eventually be dedicated to the , with an additional cash payment issued to meet subdivision requirements for open space. Park District board members expressed their support for the dedication earlier this year. K. Hovnanian Homes' land acquisition manager Scott Barrenbrugge said the cash-in-lieu would be used for immediate park improvements, rather than paid to the Park District in installments.
Benedictine University legal counsel voiced support for the project after working with the developers to address concerns about water retention, and how Arbor Trails residents would cohabitate with a university as their neighbor. The groups are still finalizing an agreement which would require developers to inform future residents of the university's proximity both verbally and in their contracts.
Barrenbrugge also offered an update on their discussions with the Green Trails Improvement Association, which would allow the developers to make some walking path connections to those existing in Green Trails. An agreement is yet to be finalized, but he said the groups are reviewing terms. If the groups cannot come to an agreement, developers said they would remove the connections from their land plan.
In order to construct the right-turn lane from Maple Avenue, developers must secure approval from Dupage County.
The property is currently owned by Meijer Stores, Inc., and is zoned for agricultural use by DuPage County. In addition to the previously mentioned agreements, the developers will require final approval by the village board for annexation back into the Village, as well as rezoning to a residential area, subdivision approval, and a planned unit development (P.U.D.) to offer buyers different lot sizes.
Developers project the majority of homes will sell for more than $400,000, which they believe will increase the price ceiling of the village's housing market.
Barrenbrugge also believes the development would not only increase the pool of prospective buyers, but draw them to other areas of the village as well.
If they attain final approval, Barrenbrugge said developers would ideally break ground this fall, and have three or four models ready for a grand opening in January 2013.
Enforcing family housing code
While some trustees expressed concern with the number of zone variances requested by the developers, Barrenbrugge argued that different lot sizes and other add-ons would be an asset to the development.
"The more differentiated we can get, the more buyers we can capture," Barrenbrugge said.
Buyers of larger lots would have the option to construct additional living space for multigenerational family members, such as an elderly parent or "boomerang" child moving back in after graduation. These bedroom-bathroom areas are intended for family members only, and village code prohibits residents from renting rooms to non-family members.
Trustees weren't sure how the village and homeowners' association would work together to enforce this provision in the housing code. Community development director Tony Budzikowski said cases would likely be investigated by the Village on a complaint basis, though the village and developers could work out enforcement details prior to final approval.
The decision was made by a majority voice vote, and not individual roll call. Cathy Cawiezel was one of the trustees who voted against the proposal, saying she felt it was "irresponsible" not to include some commercial element on the property to serve immediate residents.