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updated: 6/4/2013 6:56 AM

Arlington Heights approves zoning changes for Hickory Kensington redevelopment

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The Arlington Heights village board on Monday approved zoning changes in line with a vision for redeveloping the Hickory Kensington area of town.

The changes will allow for a mix of residential and commercial uses in the area, bounded by Northwest Highway, Dryden Avenue, Miner Street and Belmont Avenue, although it was originally developed as industrial space.

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Although actual changes to the area could be years away, the village wanted the code to be consistent with the future vision they approved in January.

Bill Enright, deputy director of planning and community development, said the village wants to take advantage of the area's proximity to the train station and downtown.

"We want to continue with trends in development in the area and take advantage of the area's proximity to downtown as well as increase the tax base and housing opportunities," Enright said.

The board approved an overlay zone text amendment to establish development standards, providing clear guidelines to developers interested in the Hickory Kensington area.

They also approved R-7 zoning in part of the area, which will allow residential housing buildings three to five stories high -- the same type of midlevel buildings that surround the downtown area.

The village staff held meetings with business owners in the area to discuss their concerns, and while Enright said many were addressed, some still weren't happy with the village's desire to redevelop the area.

"There are certain property owners who don't want this to happen," Enright said. "They've been there for a long time, and there's a perspective that we should leave well enough alone.

Business owners can re-tenant their spaces and keep them in the manufacturing zone if they choose, but if they are sold or redeveloped they may be subject to the new plan.

"The vision has been set by the board and the vision is to continue transitioning this are from its industrial heritage to something that will benefit the whole community," Enright said.

Residents can read the rezoning and overlay zone amendment online.

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