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posted: 6/17/2012 8:00 AM

Arlington Hts. continues suburb talks on future housing

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Demand for housing, especially multifamily units, will increase in Arlington Heights over the next 30 years, and residents can comment on a long-range plan in a workshop at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at village hall, 33 S. Arlington Heights Road.

Attendees will focus on the five-block area along Arlington Heights Road from Sigwalt Street to Park Street south of downtown for part of the meeting, but questions will be asked about the whole town. Village officials selected that area because it is mixed residential and commercial and currently the village has no plans for any development that should go there, said Drew Williams-Clark, principal at Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

Almost 4,000 more households in varying economic levels will want to live in the village by 2040, increasing the population by 10,000 to 85,000, according to projections in a draft report from CMAP for the Northwest Suburban Housing Collaborative. And currently 76 percent of Americans believe renting is a better choice than purchasing homes.

Five communities -- Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine and Rolling Meadows -- formed the coalition in 2011 to collaborate to address housing issues.

A report of strategies will be developed for each community as well as for the coalition's region, said Williams-Clark. However, communities can choose to limit growth by how they handle their zoning code, he said, and input from residents and village board officials will affect the final report.

"Officials can accommodate growth based on the feedback. It's about studying supply and demand mismatches and how to remedy them. We don't want to write a report directly contrary to the board's policy," he said.

One option might be mixed use developments with apartments above stores to provide housing and the coveted sales tax from commercial uses, Williams-Clark recently told the Arlington Heights Village Board.

On Tuesday night, those attending will see photos of different types of housing and be asked to say whether they would like them in their neighborhoods or anywhere in their community.

They also will get symbols representing all the types of housing demand CMAP predicts and decide where -- if anywhere -- on a map of the village these should go. They can designate areas they think should remain the same and ones they think should be revitalized.

Priorities in the region include preserving rental housing; dealing with foreclosures, especially of condominiums; neighborhood stabilization; and regional planning.

Future demand will be in developed areas, including ones like the Northwest suburbs, and the home of the future will be smaller and more energy efficient, the draft report says. In addition, multifamily will rebound from the housing crash first.

Buffalo Grove's meeting will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 20, at village hall, 50 Raupp Blvd,; and Palatine's at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 28, at village hall, 200 E. Wood St. Rolling Meadows and Mount Prospect already held theirs, with about 20 people attending each, said Williams-Clark.

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