Rolling Meadows one step closer to putting townhouses on Dominick's site

Despite an attempt to delay a vote, Rolling Meadows aldermen have given preliminary approval to plans for 106 townhouses on much of the former Dominick's property in the city's downtown.

The 5-2 first reading vote Tuesday night came a week before the local elections, while the final second reading vote is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9 — after Election Day, but before a new council is seated.

Aldermen Nick Budmats and Joe Gallo — the two “no” votes — called for the matter to be tabled so the city's environmental committee could evaluate plans to eliminate a 10-foot-wide sidewalk along Meadow Drive on the west side of the proposed subdivision at 2819-2915 Kirchoff Road. City plans once called for a bike path there, but they've since been revised to have a bike lane in the street instead.

Regardless, Public Works Director Fred Vogt said the disposition of the bike lane wouldn't affect developer Taylor Morrison's request for approval of a final planned development, and five council members agreed not to delay the vote.

Called Meadow Square, the development would feature 54 three-story homes with rear-loaded garages and 52 two-story homes with front-loaded garages.

Aldermen didn't formally debate the proposal itself Tuesday, after reviewing it a week earlier at a committee of the whole meeting when two aldermen weighed in with positive reactions. A year ago, the council by a 5-2 tally gave preliminary approval to similar plans of developer Ryan Homes for 113 townhouses, while rezoning the southern 9.5-acre portion of the site from commercial to residential.

Taylor Morrison purchased Ryan Homes' blueprints after the latter developer dropped out due to financial problems.

Clark Street Development will retain two 0.8-acre lots fronting Kirchoff for potential future commercial use.

Budmats, Gallo and Mayor Len Prejna have favored more commercial uses on the site, while other council members have said the market won't support it.

The long-running controversy of what to do with the property in the heart of the city's traditional downtown has dominated local politics — save from the fire stations relocation plan — since the grocery store closed in 2004. Various proposals to develop the site in recent years have fallen through or been rejected, from a plan for townhouses, apartments and retail that never got off the ground, to a proposed senior housing community denied by aldermen.

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