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posted: 7/1/2013 5:00 AM

Housing project will be good for Palatine

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Catherine Alice Gardens, the permanent supportive housing apartment building for people with disabilities being proposed by the Housing Task Force, the Alexian Brothers Center for Mental Health, the Kenneth Young Center and UP Development, is supported by a broad coalition consisting of many Palatine residents, Palatine churches including clergy, lay leaders and parishioners, and civic groups such as the Palatine Area League of Women Voters.

Many local small business owners, including several Realtors, local elected officials, veterans organizations, and others support it as well, as do many area human service providers, such as Journeys/the Road Home, who know firsthand the great need for supportive housing for people with disabilities.

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The opponents of the proposal are a narrow group of the project's future neighbors, whose arguments are based more on fear rather than on fact. The Palatine Plan Commission realized this when they voted last week to approve the proposal by a vote of 7-1. Case in point: At the plan commission hearing, opponents of the proposal said they fear the project will negatively impact their property values. They offered no evidence to support this contention, however. But an expert real estate appraiser testified that projects like this do not negatively impact property values and may, in fact increase them. Palatine Realtors who deal with residential properties in our area on a daily basis agreed.

An old warehouse that has been vacant and on the market for 11 years currently occupies the site. Replacing it with an attractive apartment building could not logically be expected to harm nearby property values.

Catherine Alice Gardens will benefit the entire Palatine community. We urge the Palatine village council to agree with the larger community, to listen to facts and not to unsubstantiated fear, and to approve the proposal.

Hugh Brady, co-president

Housing Task Force

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