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updated: 2/18/2014 11:52 PM

Wheaton residents, council object to subdivision plan

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Wheaton residents on Tuesday spoke out against plans for a new subdivision in an area just west of Wheaton North High School.

The city council also agreed to submit a formal objection to the developer's proposed DuPage County zoning application.

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According to city staff members, M/I Homes wants to build 21 single-family homes in an unincorporated area west of Gary Road, near Knollwood Avenue, Woodlawn Street and Royal Court.

The developer did not attend Tuesday night's meeting.

About 20 residents were in attendance at the city council meeting to express concerns about the three exceptions the developer is seeking in regards to the R-4 single family residential zoning requirements: Allowing a lot size of less than 8,364 square feet instead of the required 10,000 square feet; allowing lot widths of 64 feet instead of the required 75 feet; and allowing minimum corner sideyard setbacks of 24 feet instead of the required 30 feet.

"I urge the objection, but I'd ask whether the city could go further than that and more affirmatively and strenuously object to this," Councilman John Prendiville said. "I think this would have a negative impact on the neighborhood's values, given the disparity between the type of lot sizes and homes that would be built there."

Royal Court resident Karim Tourk said the subdivision plans show a new home being built within a few feet of his property. He estimates the total amount of lost property values on his street alone would amount to about $250,000.

"The problem is arising when there is a sideyard setback, and it's coming into my backyard," he said. "The concern is that if they're allowed to build the way that it's proposed, it will be an eyesore with a very negative, aesthetic impact on (my) property, the resale value of (my) house will go down."

Peter Povinelli said his primary concern is the possibility of making Woodlawn Street a through-street once the homes are built, particularly because Sandburg Elementary School is nearby.

"We understand why interconnectivity is an issue ... from a service standpoint. However, we feel that the safety issues are quite concerning and could cause a major problem for all of the residents involved," he said.

Other residents raised concerns about potential flooding problems.

The developer has designed a plan that connects to a Wheaton Sanitary District sewer instead of the city's system.

Last year, the developer asked the city council for permission to connect the new homes to the city's sanitary sewer system without annexation, which would have required a modification to the city code.

The council unanimously agreed to not alter the city code, citing the potential precedent the city would be setting by making an exception for this case.

Mayor Mike Gresk encouraged residents to let their county board representatives know about their concerns, as the DuPage County Board will ultimately make the final decision on the subdivision's zoning.

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