Further review ordered for Naperville townhouse plan
Naperville has once again put the brakes on a proposed development that could bring townhouses to a 3-acre unincorporated area north of Ogden Avenue.
A version of a plan that called for 24 townhouses to be built at the southwest corner of Bauer Road and Charles Street has been sent back to the planning and zoning commission for further review.
"I think townhomes is probably the best use for this property. For me it makes sense. But I also understand your concerns," Mayor Steve Chirico told a large crowd of neighbors at Tuesday night's city council meeting. "The more input we receive, usually the better solution we find. Sending it back to the planning and zoning commission is the best direction for it to go."
Council members unanimously asked the commission to consider the latest version of plans for a subdivision called Bauer Place after hearing from 12 of the neighbors gathered to oppose the density of the development. Earlier proposals for Bauer Place over the summer called for 29 or 30 three-story townhouses on the same site.
"Especially for me it's the three-story and the height of the building that is so inappropriate for a townhouse," nearby resident Patricia Hurt said. "They are not in sync with our neighborhood."
Neighbor Dale Dionesotes put his opposition simply.
"It just doesn't feel right. It just doesn't feel like it's good for Naperville," Dionesotes said.
Council member Kevin Coyne agreed.
"It feels too intense for a quiet neighborhood," Coyne said.
Some say townhouses are the best way to fill the land, which backs up to a gas station on the north side of Ogden Avenue. Sending the proposal back to the planning and zoning commission will give neighbors and the developer, Oak Creek Capital Partners, the chance to compromise on a smaller plan, they say.
Len Monson, an attorney representing Oak Creek Capital Partners, said the developer already has compromised and shown flexibility by moving townhouses away from Bauer Road, designing a water retention pond there instead, adding a 4-foot-tall berm along Bauer and decreasing the number of proposed units by six.
"I'm not against townhouses if it's done tastefully," council member Paul Hinterlong said. "They have to be done reasonably and sensibly and in character and with the trends of our neighborhoods."
There are six townhouses on the east side of Charles Street across from the proposed Bauer Place site, but the area to the north and west is populated with houses -- some in subdivisions, others on unincorporated lots.
City staff members reviewing the proposal found it consistent with planning documents that guide development in the area.
"We don't view townhomes and single-family as incompatible," planning team leader Allison Laff said.
The planning and zoning commission's next meeting is today, but Bauer Place is expected to be considered on a later agenda.