Arlington Heights rejects apartment building as too large
Arlington Heights trustees rejected a developer's plans Monday to build a five-story, 88-unit apartment building on a long-vacant portion of land near the downtown.
The village board voted 8-1 to deny CA Ventures' proposal for a $17.5 million, 41,987-square-foot development, called Sigwalt Apartments, on Sigwalt Street between Highland and Chestnut avenues. It was to be situated on the south side of an empty block just west of the Vail Avenue parking garage.
Trustees largely agreed with nearby downtown residents who came to the board meeting to raise concerns about the project's density and parking, as well as traffic they feared would come to nearby streets.
"I'm concerned we're trying to put way too much into this building," said Trustee John Scaletta. "This building is very large for the property."
In voting to deny a request to rezone from single-family residential to multifamily residential, trustees also rejected 14 variations regarding density, setbacks and building height, among others.
While the village staff recommended approval of the project and noted other previously approved downtown developments that received multiple variations, Scaletta countered that those buildings were not adjacent to single-family homes. The Sigwalt building would have been across the street from homes on the south and west -- where a petition of some 100 signatures was collected Sunday in opposition to the project.
Trustees also said Monday the building should have more parking. CA Ventures proposed 110 spaces on the first floor and basement, which equates to 1.25 spaces per unit, but is below the village's requirement of 1.5. The developer said that would be enough parking, based on a market study of other developments near Metra stations.
"There's too much reliance on thinking people are going to ride the train, which will only take them downtown," said Trustee Robin LaBedz, who said residents would still need cars for shopping and doctor's appointments.
Though Trustee Carol Blackwood was the lone vote in favor of the project, Mayor Tom Hayes did express unease that the village could be losing a development opportunity.
"I'm concerned we're going to lose a developer willing to spend millions to develop this property," Hayes said. "I agree it's not a perfect proposal. But there's only a finite number of things we can do with this property that's going to put it to its highest and best use."
The site, which is about one-third of the entire empty block, once contained single-family homes and a parking lot for AT&T. The 3-acre northern portion of the block was once home of Paddock Publications, publisher of the Daily Herald. There haven't yet been development plans for that site, now owned by Norwood Builders.