Neighbor opposition continues to Naperville townhouse plan
A smaller version of a proposed townhouse development unanimously rejected by the Naperville planning and zoning commission is back for city council consideration, but the downsized plans aren't enough to satisfy some neighbors.
The latest proposal for Bauer Place includes 24 townhouses at the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street just north of Ogden Avenue.
Neighbors opposed to density and traffic say they don't want townhouses in what they describe as an area of free-standing houses.
"We think it will alter the neighborhood," said Mike Marek, who lives in the nearby Edgewood subdivision. "We feel it doesn't belong."
The city council during its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday is scheduled to consider annexing the 3-acre unincorporated property, rezoning it to a medium-density multifamily designation and approving plans for Bauer Place that call for a minor zoning variance related to a stormwater basin.
Marek said he and his neighbors who don't want to see Bauer Place approved hope the council will take into consideration the opinions of planning and zoning commission members, who in July unanimously rejected a version of the plans that called for 29 townhouses.
"We don't understand why a 7-0 planning and zoning commission vote doesn't really seem to matter," Marek said.
Since hearing neighbors' concerns over the summer, attorney Len Monson said Bauer Place developer Oak Creek Capital Partners amended plans to remove two townhouse buildings on Bauer Road and instead place a pond to hold stormwater at the north end of the property. The developer now plans to construct six buildings, each with four units, for a total of 24 new townhouses to be sold for between $300,000 and $400,000 each, Monson said.
The biggest change in the new version of the proposal is the removal of the two buildings on Bauer Road, Derek Rockwell, a project manager in the city's development review team, wrote in a memo. But that change is not significant enough to require the plans to go back to the planning and zoning commission for review before heading to the council on Tuesday, he said.
Marek also said the removal of townhouses on Bauer isn't enough to alleviate his concerns about the project, despite the fact retaining the consistency of houses on Bauer was one of the main objections neighbors cited during previous reviews.
"It's not as bad as it was given the fact that the two people across the street on Bauer aren't staring at those (townhouses) and it does in fact not damage the single-family homes on Bauer," Marek said. "But the project itself will alter the character of the neighborhood and will be unfavorable."
Monson in July said plans for Bauer Place are 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 uses should be built at Charles and Bauer, Rockwell and city planners who reviewed the proposal said it was consistent.