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updated: 11/13/2017 11:30 AM

Apartment project draws protest in Sugar Grove

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Residents of the Chelsea Meadows subdivision in Sugar Grove are protesting a plan to build a three-story, 40-unit apartment building near them.

They told the village board at a public hearing last week they worry about traffic from the Chelsea Commons apartments driving through the neighborhood.

Some also worry that the apartments, which would be for low-income senior citizens, will eventually be opened up to younger tenants.

The plan calls for 24 one-bedroom apartments and 16 two-bedroom apartments. They would rent for $600 to $900 a month.

The project would be financed in part through tax-exempt bonds issued by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. That would require the building to be restricted -- for 30 years -- to people who are at least 62 years old, according to Joe Schwenker, senior project manager for Bear Development LLC.

The building would be at Chelsea Avenue and Sugar Grove Parkway (Route 47). It is zoned for commercial use. Access is from Chelsea Avenue since the state has prohibited access of Route 47.

The plan commission has recommended the plan, including rezoning the land to senior residential district.

Schwenker said because of financing, there are government rules about how long visitors can stay in the apartments.

Chelsea Drive resident Glenn Ray said when he bought his home two decades ago, the builder told him the lots at 55 Chelsea would have two-story buildings, with stores on the first floor and apartments upstairs.

"Nobody who bought there thought there would be a three-story, 40-unit apartment building at the end of our street. We moved to this quiet village to get away from apartment buildings and rental townhouse units."

Neighbors asked the village board to put a restriction on the property deed, so if the building is sold, residents would still have to be at least 62, and that it couldn't be turned into other kinds of government-subsidized housing.

Only former village trustee Joe Wolf, who has lived in Sugar Grove since 1960, spoke in favor of the plan.

The board could vote on the proposal as soon as Nov. 21.

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