The Lombard Village Board gave a housing developer some guidance Thursday night about whether a proposed residential development at the Ken-Loch Golf Links would be able to gain support.
By agreeing to take a look at the village's comprehensive plan, which calls for the land to remain as open space, trustees effectively said "it's possible."
The village board also directed Lombard community development staff to begin studying possible options for development of the 31-acre property.
"I see no harm in having our village staff look hard at various options we have for how to deal with this particular property," Trustee Peter Breen said.
The developer addressing the board Thursday night was Donven Homes, a small building company based in Countryside that focuses on upscale developments in the Western suburbs, said Don Stevens, the company's president.
His company is proposing construction of 256 apartments and 103 townhouses to house an estimated 736 people on the golf course site off Finley Road north of 22nd Street and just south of Four Seasons Park.
To allow the residential development, the village would have to annex the land, which now is unincorporated. But an annexation agreement only could come if the village board first changes the comprehensive plan to allow residential development on the site, then approves Donven Homes' proposal through the plan commission project
Village President Bill Mueller was careful to mention Thursday night's discussion was not a public hearing on the proposal, only a conversation to give the builder some advice about the feasibility of the plan. He said in his state of the village address in February the land should remain as open space because that's in the community's best interest.
Bob Schillerstrom, an attorney representing Donven Homes, said the company's proposal includes an open space portion and a connection to a pedestrian path between an existing residential neighborhood and Four Seasons Park.
"We understand that open space is very important in the village," Schillerstrom said. "We've tried to design it in such a way that our open space component ties in with the park to the north."
Trustee Zachary Wilson, whose district includes the area around the golf course, said he set up the board's discussion session and supports revisiting the comprehensive plan to possibly allow for residential development.
While trustees agreed to re-evaluate the comprehensive plan, they noted the golf course is private property, and they want to avoid forcing its owners into making a certain decision.
"Unless we as a village decide to purchase this or unless the park district decides to purchase this, I'm concerned about dictating to the owners of Ken-Loch what happens to their property," Trustee Laura Fitzpatrick said.
Trustees will examine the comprehensive plan as it relates to the golf course at a later date.