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Article updated: 4/30/2013 12:25 AM

Glen Ellyn OKs 22-home development

By Christopher Placek

The largest new housing development in Glen Ellyn in a decade is scheduled for construction, now that necessary zoning approvals have been granted that allow the project to commence.

The village board Monday voted 6-0 to approve variance requests of K. Hovnanian Homes, which plans to build 22 single-family homes at the northwest corner of Sheehan Avenue and Route 53.

The developer originally sought to build 23 homes, but village trustees expressed concerns at an April 15 board meeting that the project would be too dense for the nine acre site.

Since then, the developer met with the village's planning and development department staff members and expressed willingness to reduce the project's scope by one house.

The ordinance approved Monday night allows seven of the 22 lots to have a 25 percent lot coverage ratio or 2,500 square foot lot coverage, whichever is less. Glen Ellyn's zoning code requires new homes to have a 20 percent designation; granting variances allows more homes to be built.

Nearby residents favored a plan that proposed 15 homes, which wouldn't have required any variances. The plan was endorsed by Village President Mark Pfefferman, who said there wasn't a compelling reason to grant so many variances for the larger project.

"Glen Ellyn has codes and standards for a reason," Pfefferman said. "Glen Ellyn usually supports the least dense option with the least number of variances."

Pfefferman only votes in the case of a tie of the village board.

Police Chief Phil Norton opposed the 15-home plan for safety reasons since there would be 15 new curb cuts on Sheehan, where Glen Crest Middle School is located.

Trustee Robert Friedberg said the 22-home subdivision design may be creating so many variances -- but for the right reasons.

"Fifteen curb cuts across from a school may not be best idea, and if the code says it's OK, maybe the code isn't right," Friedberg said.

The approved 22-home plan doesn't include any homes that would front Sheehan. It has an S-curve street that cuts through the development and connects Montclair Avenue with Sheehan. Residents argued such a design will lead to increased traffic.

Planning and Development Director Staci Hulseberg said the developer never formally submitted the 15-lot plan to village staff members -- and that sketches were only presented for the first time during plan commission hearings for the 23-home development.

The 15-home design would have required the developer to resubmit plans and reappear before the plan commission.

Jon Isherwood of K. Hovnanian said it could take between 18 and 36 months for the subdivision to be built and homes sold.

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