Winfield board overrides veto of Roosevelt zoning
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A majority on Winfield's village board has approved a plan to rezone parcels along Roosevelt Road to make it possible for businesses to locate in the area.
Daily Herald file photo
Winfield Village President Deborah Birutis on Thursday failed to stop portions of Roosevelt Road from being rezoned.
And the two candidates looking to replace the outgoing Birutis say they have no plans to reverse the zoning change.
But Trustee Erik Spande and his opponent in the village president race, Rob Hanlon, also agree commercial redevelopment of the stretch of Roosevelt that runs through Winfield shouldn't happen until after the village updates its comprehensive plan.
"Any action regarding Roosevelt Road should wait until the new comprehensive plan is complete for this area," Spande said. "Then the plan for this area will be vetted by a professional planner and will have had a full community review."
Hanlon said he's committed to "removing barriers to progress" in developing business along Roosevelt.
Still, he added: "We need to complete our approved comprehensive planning process to understand the impacts on our village."
The process of revising the comprehensive plan is expected to start soon and take about 18 months to complete, officials said.
Trustees Tim Allen, Tony Reyes, James Hughes and Jay Olson have been pushing to commercialize Roosevelt to create a larger revenue base for the cash-strapped village.
They voted last month to give more than a dozen residential parcels along Roosevelt, Garys Mill and Wynwood roads a business zoning classification.
And on Thursday, the four trustees overturned Birutis' veto of the rezoning plan. Allen said the vote to override the veto was "necessary."
"It is about sustainable revenues," Allen said after the meeting. "We need to make money. And we need to make it up on Roosevelt Road, where most of the traffic is at."
Thursday's vote was the third time the four trustees were able to successfully override a veto by Birutis.
Birutis attempted her latest veto after arguing the March 7 rezoning vote was illegal. She claimed the rezoning was done without a recommendation from the village plan commission, which had postponed its discussion on Roosevelt until May. She also said the zoning trustees approved allows "virtually any type of business with no buffer to the adjacent residential lots."
Because of those factors, Spande said he "cannot in good conscience support the rezoning as it stands."
Still, Spande has no plans to try to undo the zoning change it if he's elected village president on Tuesday.
"If I am elected to be village president and the rezoning is upheld by the courts," Spande said, "I am not inclined to rezone back to residential."
Meanwhile, Hanlon called the decision by the four trustees to override Birutis' veto "symbolic."
"It reinforces the residents' desired consensus, signaled by published campaign commitments from all candidates to develop business on Roosevelt Road," Hanlon said.
If elected village president, Hanlon said he would seek businesses "with revenue generating power and credibility."
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