Last week, the Palatine Plan Commission voted 7-1 to recommend approval of Catherine Alice Gardens, a permanent supportive housing development for individuals and families living with disabilities.
The hearing lasted well past midnight, and I commend the chairman and the commissioners for their patience and careful attention during that long evening. The questions they asked the petitioners and the objectors were perceptive and courteous, and showed their understanding and adherence to the duties of the office they hold.
I understand the objectors' worries about safety and property values, but the plan commission's decision was based on facts presented under oath by planning professionals. I believe those facts answered the sincere concerns of the objectors.
There is a tremendous need for supportive housing for people with disabilities in the our area. Many people with disabilities are forced to live in inappropriate housing, or with aging parents. Others are homeless or live in nursing homes or homeless shelters.
This lack of housing often leads to untreated mental illness or all too often, the expensive and inappropriate placement of many people with disabilities in hospitals.
To meet this need, we must provide additional housing that is both connected with supportive services and is affordable. The demand for this housing far exceeds the available supply.
I believe that this site at 345 Eric Drive in Palatine is an excellent location for development, as it is in a quiet neighborhood within easy walking distance of the Metra station, and the grocery store, banks, restaurants, pharmacy, medical center and other businesses.
As a former village president, I know how important it is to provide this type of housing. I am confident that the Catherine Alice Gardens and its residents will be a valuable addition to Palatine.
Sheila H. Schultz