A developer can buy a Lombard-area golf course and build multifamily housing on the site now that DuPage County has signed off on the project.
County board members voted 15-2 Tuesday to approve a request to rezone and redevelop the Ken-Loch Golf Links along Finley Road north of 22nd Street. The plan to build apartments and townhouses on the 31-acre property won county board support even though Lombard officials and neighbors opposed it.
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"We are very excited, very pleased with the vote and are looking forward to building a quality community in DuPage County," said Scott Stevens, executive vice president of Donven Homes.
Rich and Linda Kensinger, the brother and sister who own Ken-Loch, have argued it can no longer operate as a golf course.
Donven Homes officials declined to disclose how much the company will pay for the land. However, they said, the project is expected to cost nearly $53 million to build.
Construction is scheduled to start in 2014 and take three years to complete.
Donven Homes plans to build four luxury apartment buildings, a clubhouse and 18 structures with upscale townhouses. The development -- named Woodmoor on Finley Road -- will have 392 dwelling units.
Don Stevens, Donven Homes president, said the development is the best use of the land. "It will definitely be an upscale, high-quality development," he said.
That didn't stop Lombard officials and neighbors from insisting the site should remain zoned for houses. Lombard trustees even gave the land a new land-use designation calling for 75 percent of the site to remain open space.
Village President Keith Giagnorio said he was disappointed with the county board's decision.
"Staff and our board and the neighbors invested a lot of time and energy in trying to keep it (the land) pretty much open space," Giagnorio said. "But we're going to move on, and it's in the county's hands now."
For months, opponents argued the development would increase traffic congestion, cause flooding and put a strain on schools and other local government services.
But county board member Sam Tornatore, who voted for the rezoning, said those concerns were addressed by the developer.
Donven Homes, for example, said the project will have stormwater detention that could address some existing flooding problems.
In addition, the development will be limited to two entrances, which both will be along Finley Road. That will prevent traffic from Woodmoor going into surrounding residential areas.
"The developer came in and met the requirements of our zoning ordinance," Tornatore said. "We feel comfortable with it (the development)."
In the meantime, Giagnorio said, Lombard officials will pay close attention to how the land is redeveloped. "We'll just see what happens," he said.