Vote on controversial Arlington Heights apartments delayed
A vote on a controversial plan to build apartments on long-vacant land in downtown Arlington Heights was delayed Monday night at the developer's request.
The village board was set to consider CA Ventures' proposal to construct a 5-story, 80-unit apartment building on Sigwalt Street between Highland and Chestnut avenues. But project attorney Mike Firsel told trustees at least three people on the project team weren't able to be at the board meeting: the firm's vice president of acquisitions is out of town, its traffic consultant was at another hearing and the financial analyst was also unavailable.
"We're aware there is a tremendous amount of opposition by some neighbors and we want to be adequately prepared to address some of those objections to the best of our ability," Firsel said. "In order to prepare a more in-depth and complete appearance before you, we just need the time in order to do so."
The board voted 8-1 to continue consideration of the project to the next meeting at 8 p.m. Monday, March 19. Mayor Tom Hayes and Trustee Tom Glasgow said they wanted to have all the necessary information to help them make an informed decision.
But Trustee Mike Sidor, the lone "no" vote, said he was "disgruntled" by Firsel's request to delay the vote. All trustees were in attendance and a number of residents in the audience.
"I find the excuses a little feeble this evening," Sidor said. "I was ready to go."
The board rejected an earlier version of the project during an 8-1 vote in October, arguing the building was too dense and didn't have enough parking. That prompted the developer to make revisions: dropping the number of units to 80 from 88, increasing the number of parking spaces to 120 from 110, reducing the building height to 60 feet from 62.5 feet and having the top floor recede to help soften the building mass when viewed from the street.
The latest version earned a positive 7-2 recommendation from the plan commission last Wednesday.
But residents have argued the latest plans are still too big and too dense. Village trustees said Monday they received a petition from 300 neighbors opposed to the project, and their email accounts were bombarded over the weekend by messages.
The developer is requesting the board rezone the property from single-family residential to multifamily residential and grant 11 variations. To pass, six board members need to vote in favor.
But it could be a close vote. Trustee Jim Tinaglia said Monday he is considering recusing himself because his architecture firm is designing plans for a development on the other two-thirds of the vacant block west of the Vail Avenue parking garage. Those plans -- on three acres of land once home to Paddock Publications, publisher of the Daily Herald -- could be unveiled in the next two to three months.
Though Tinaglia isn't working on the CA Ventures apartments proposal, he said its proximity to the still-undisclosed project might lead to his recusal.