Developer seeks more time for review of townhome plan in downtown Libertyville

  • Rendering of renovated Metra station in downtown Libertyville. Groundbreaking could occur in April.

    Rendering of renovated Metra station in downtown Libertyville. Groundbreaking could occur in April. Courtesy of Swanson Development

  • Libertyville plans to renovate its downtown Metra station with a groundbreaking possible in April.

    Libertyville plans to renovate its downtown Metra station with a groundbreaking possible in April. Courtesy of Swanson Development

 
 
Updated 1/20/2017 6:19 PM

A planned public hearing on a proposal for luxury apartments near the Metra station downtown is being delayed two months at the developer's request.

The advisory plan commission had been scheduled Monday to hear a request from Station Square LLC for approvals to build apartments, townhouses and single-family homes on 11 acres known as the Trimm property near the station north and west of Lake Street and Milwaukee Avenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But architect Rick Swanson said he will delay the consideration in part because of late-arriving information regarding traffic and other aspects of the plan.

"We've decided to pull back for now," Swanson said.

The concept was informally revealed last May, and the plan commission reviewed it at a public hearing in October and followed up with a workshop. The public hearing will be continued to March 13 at the Libertyville Civic Center, a larger venue than village hall, where the plan commission normally meets.

Besides giving the village time to review revised plans including an updated traffic study, Swanson said he wanted to meet with local school officials regarding the anticipated number of school-age children the development could generate.

The potential effect on schools has been a main concern of residents regarding a proposal by another developer for 148 single-family homes west on Lake Street where it ends at Butterfield Road. That review spanned eight hours in two public hearings before the plan commission before being continued to Feb. 27.

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Swanson said the type of housing he is proposing typically appeals to buyers with few, if any, school-age children, although some are expected.

"I want to meet with (Libertyville Elementary) District 70 and just have a discussion with them," he said.

Swanson in a letter to village planners said he continues to refine a master plan for the combined Trimm and village properties to get the "most effective" result. The revised plan shows 80 apartments, 30 townhouses and four single-family lots.

Since the initial review, the density has been lowered to less than what is permitted; single-family lots have been moved; an apartment building has been relocated; the street pattern realigned; row homes redesigned; and property at Brainerd Avenue and Lake Street removed, according to Swanson, who said he wanted to give the village time to digest the new information.

The property is the former home of Newton Instrument Co., which moved more than a decade ago. At the time, the village gave Newton the ability to develop as many as 130 condos or townhouse in exchange for land to expand the commuter parking lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Various plans for residential development of the property fizzled, the most recent being a proposal from M/I Homes for 80 townhouses.

Swanson has said a renovated train station in keeping with the historical character of the area would become a focal point for the neighborhood. The station is not part of the project, but Swanson has been selected by the village to do the redesign.

"The (station) plans should be done in about 10 days and will go to bid shortly after," he said. "The plan has been to break ground in April."

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