Barrington Area Unit District 220 will conduct more research before deciding whether to allow a developer access to a school's property for drainage work related to a townhouse project.
M/I Homes has demolished buildings and performed other site work in an effort to build 61 townhouses on 11 acres previously used for "country offices" at The Grove, near Dundee Road just east of the Motor Werks automobile dealership in Barrington.
District 220 is considering a request from M/I to use land for the drainage work belonging to the Barrington Early Learning Center at 40 E. Dundee. M/I's Brentwood subdivision will border the Early Learning Center on the west.
However, two school board members on the district's advisory facilities committee Tuesday directed administrators to perform more research on M/I's easement request. The advisory panel is expected to receive a report for a Dec. 5 meeting before issuing a recommendation for the full school board to consider.
M/I executive Greg Collins said the Early Learning Center would receive a benefit at no cost if the company is allowed access to the school land to upgrade the drainage for the neighboring townhouses.
"It's not an ideal stormwater situation," Collins said outside the meeting room.
M/I encountered objections from residents in the Park Barrington subdivision, north of Dundee and Grove Avenue, when its project went before the advisory Barrington plan commission in the summer. M/I received village board approval in September.
Concerns about there being too many townhouses for the 11 acres and additional traffic were expressed at the plan commission meetings in June and July.
Collins said it's hoped Brentwood's roads will be built by year's end. If that occurs, he said, the first townhouses might be finished in March or April.
M/I representatives said the townhouses will provide a greater and more affordable housing choice in Barrington, likely appealing to older "move-down" buyers and young professionals. With a base price in the $400,000s, the two- or three-bedroom units will have a two-car garage and a full basement, covering 1,584 to 2,231 square feet.
"We're seeing a great niche that's completely underserved," Collins said. "And, luckily, Barrington kind of includes the geography around it, too, where you've got the other Barringtons and the Invernesses. They all have that kind of (move-down housing) issue, I think."