The proposed Link Crossing development in Buffalo Grove has come under fire from neighbors who have objected to its density, its three-story townhouses and its potential traffic problems.
Concerns have forced K. Hovnanian Homes to revise its plans for the 50-acre site north of Didier Farms, which will likely be presented at the Buffalo Grove Planning and Zoning Commission's June 21 meeting.
On Tuesday evening, the developer and neighbors, who have been addressing their arguments to planning and zoning commissioners, had a chance to talk to each other without an intermediary. While the give-and-take was candid, it remains to be seen whether it will prove productive.
"We really thought it was appropriate and necessary to have a forum that was better at facilitating a conversation," Jon Isherwood, land acquisition manager of K. Hovnanian, told about 35 people at Meridian Middle School. The two-way communication that was absent from the previous public hearings is a critical part of the input in changes that will be made to the plan, he said. "If we come back here with 205 units, I know that I'm going to be out the door, and you guys will be having pitchforks."
Neighbors especially focused on what they view as a looming traffic nightmare as cars try to turn from Brandywyn Lane to Buffalo Grove Road.
Javier Millan, the project's traffic consultant, said Lake County has refused access directly onto Buffalo Grove Road unless the exit lines up with the entrance to Buffalo Grove Park District property to the south and the west.
Residents also expressed concern about construction traffic.
"It's a safety risk," said Steve Lefar. "You've got kids and buses all day long. You cannot bring construction traffic on Brandywyn or Meridian … we will not allow those trucks coming through all day long."
Neighbors also were concerned about density.
"People don't want to live around an area that has got such density," said resident Marc Benjoya. "We have a lot of people talking about wanting to put their homes up for sale, because they're nervous. They're concerned. They want to get out before you start building."
One couple, David and Nina Tenny, 48-year residents of a home in Arlington Heights, said they would consider buying in the development. They fit the profile of one of the groups targeted by the development, older residents who want to downsize.
"We like the location," said David Tenny.
"It's the last good piece of land left in the Northwest suburbs," Nina Tenny said.