Lombard likely to change land-use designation for golf site
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The Lombard village board is expected to vote Thursday to amend its comprehensive plan to clear the way for development of up to 25 percent of the Ken-Loch Golf Links.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
If Lombard trustees stick to their previous votes, the village's comprehensive plan will be amended this week to give the green light for development on up to 25 percent of the Ken-Loch Golf Links site.
The final vote on whether to accept allow construction on as much as a quarter of the property is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at village hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave.
The vote will determine if Lombard's planning documents will be changed to call for anything other than open space at the 31-acre site in an unincorporated area near the southwest side of town.
"If it's approved, then there can be up to 25 percent development on the land," Village President Keith Giagnorio said. "That becomes part of the comprehensive plan for the property if it ever was incorporated into the village."
Thursday's vote will not approve or deny a construction proposal from Donven Homes, which is interested in buying Ken-Loch from owners Rich and Linda Kensinger and has proposed an apartment and townhouse development on more than 25 percent of the site.
Consideration of that plan, or any other, could only begin if the property owner seeks annexation into the village.
The significance of Thursday's vote is more in the realm of planning and land-use policy, said Bill Heniff, community development director.
The comprehensive plan, which would be updated if trustees approve development on part of the site, spells out what the community wants to see in different areas and guides potential developers.
"When anyone comes forward on this project, we'll say 'Is it consistent with what the village board recommended?'" Heniff said.
Four trustees voted May 16 in favor of permitting development on up to 25 percent of the site, instead of the current designation of open space. Trustees Dan Whittington, Mike Fugiel, Reid Foltyniewicz and Bill Ware said they plan on sticking with their votes, giving the change enough support to pass.
Ware and Foltyniewicz said allowing some development is a good compromise between the wishes of neighboring residents, who want the land kept open, and the needs of the Kensinger siblings, who would like to sell their property.
Bob Schillerstrom, an attorney for prospective buyer Donven Homes and former DuPage County Board chairman, asked at the board's last meeting for a decision on land use to be made as soon as possible, as discussions began more than a year ago.
Trustees Laura Fitzpatrick and Peter Breen, who voted May 16 against the 25 percent development recommendation, said they still have reservations.
"Either it's open land or it's developed," Fitzpatrick said. "I just don't think 25 percent is a practical designation."
Fitzpatrick's unsuccessful campaign for DuPage County Board in 2008 received a $25,000 loan from Schillerstrom's campaign, which is yet to be paid back, according to records from the Illinois State Board of Elections. She said she has not received any money from Donven Homes, the Kensingers or Schillerstrom's employer, Ice Miller LLP, and the past funding from Schillerstrom's campaign in no way affects her judgment on Ken-Loch.
"The contribution I got is absolutely legal. It was long before Donven ever knocked on the door," she said. "It would be different if I took it last year and this year they're here. This is just something that happened."
Breen said he opposes a change from open space because the village does not have a plan for what should be done with the site. Residents have strongly opposed the type of residential development Donven is proposing, citing concerns about flooding and additional traffic.
If trustees approve a change in the designation, Heniff said they will be able to evaluate any development proposal that comes forward as part of an annexation request. Otherwise, the land-use designation would remain open space.
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