Naperville townhouse plan rejected as too dense

  • Many Naperville neighbors spoke against a townhouse development proposed for the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street, leading the planning and zoning commission to reject the plan.

      Many Naperville neighbors spoke against a townhouse development proposed for the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street, leading the planning and zoning commission to reject the plan. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • This unincorporated house and yard are part of a property at the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street in Naperville where a proposal to build 29 townhouses was rejected by the planning and zoning commission.

      This unincorporated house and yard are part of a property at the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street in Naperville where a proposal to build 29 townhouses was rejected by the planning and zoning commission. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Mike Marek of Naperville speaks against a proposal to build 29 townhouses at the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street. The planning and zoning commission unanimously rejected the plan.

      Mike Marek of Naperville speaks against a proposal to build 29 townhouses at the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street. The planning and zoning commission unanimously rejected the plan. Marie Wilson | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/9/2015 9:25 PM

A townhouse development that drew heavy opposition from its Naperville neighbors won't be moving forward -- at least not at the proposed density of 29 units on three acres.

Developer Oak Creek Capital Partners said it's back to the drawing board with plans for Bauer Place, which met unanimous disapproval from the city's planning and zoning commission members.

 

The development, designed for the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street just north of Ogden Avenue, shrunk by one unit from its original proposal for 30 townhouses before commissioners reviewed it Wednesday night. But commissioners still said they agree with neighbors who called the proposal too dense, especially for Bauer Road, which is populated with houses.

"The thing that concerns me about this project is density," Commissioner Robert Williams said. "I think this is too much in too little of a space."

Neighbors said they'd be more open to the idea of replacing the three unincorporated houses on the site with a new development if it called for single-family houses facing Bauer.

In the plans reviewed Wednesday, two townhouse buildings -- each 73 feet wide and containing six units -- were designed to face Bauer Road. That was a decrease from the eight units designed to face Bauer in the first version of the developer's plans. But it wasn't enough to placate more than 500 people who signed an online petition or 15 neighbors who spoke against the proposal.

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"We are not against development on this site; we are opposed to townhouses on Bauer," said Mike Marek, who lives in the nearby Edgewood subdivision. "(Townhouses are) not the least bit compatible with anything in the area."

Across Charles Street from the proposed development, there are six townhouses built in the mid-2000s. But neighbors say they're comparing the site not to what's on Charles, but to the single-family neighborhoods on Bauer Road and to the north and west.

"I just think it's an intrusion to try to put townhouses across the street," said John Case, who lives on Bauer Road. "I don't think it's right to have that imposition."

Len Monson, an attorney representing Oak Creek Capital Partners, said rejected plans for Bauer Place were consistent with city planning documents for the Ogden Avenue corridor, which call for "residential uses" on the property. While the Ogden Avenue plan does not specify what type of "residential uses" should be built at Charles and Bauer, city planners who reviewed the proposal also said it was consistent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"All the oppositions come down to one: Not wanting townhomes," Monson said. "I know there is concern that the development will destroy the single-family character of Bauer and Edgewood. I don't believe it will."

Commissioner Peter Crawford said he wanted the developer to come back with "a more sensitive, thoughtful design approach to any units that would face Bauer Road so it's just more compatible."

Monson said developers will work to create new designs for the site, considering the suggestion to build freestanding houses facing Bauer with townhouses to the south. He did not have a timeframe for when new plans might be submitted.

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