Rolling Meadows mayor calls for fewer townhouses, but aldermen disagree
Despite an attempt by Rolling Meadows Mayor Len Prejna to lessen the density of a proposed 106-unit townhouse development in the city's downtown, the plan will stay unchanged ahead of a formal council vote next week.
Prejna, who has long favored commercial uses for half the former Dominick's site at Kirchoff Road and Meadow Drive and townhouses for the other half, suggested Tuesday that developer Taylor Morrison go with as few as 100 homes and increase the amount of green space on site.
During a city council committee of the whole meeting Tuesday night where the developer presented the latest plans, only one alderman, Nick Budmats, sided with Prejna.
"It's one of the major areas in downtown and the fact that again, if I had been able to speak with you before the 'cake has been baked,' as you say, I would've told you the density there is too high," Prejna told officials from Taylor Morrison. "Once it's built, there's nothing we can do to it."
While aldermen took a straw vote on Prejna's idea to reduce the density, they didn't take an informal tally on the project itself ahead of a formal first-reading vote next Tuesday, March 26. A final, second-reading vote is scheduled for April 9 -- a week after Election Day, when Prejna and other council members are on the ballot. A new council would be seated later.
But two aldermen did weigh in Tuesday night with positive reactions to the project.
Alderman Mike Cannon, who is running unopposed for his Ward 1 seat, said he liked the look of the proposed development, which contains some minor changes to the Ryan Homes project aldermen approved a year ago. That developer got preliminary approval for 113 townhouses but faced financial problems, dropped out and had Taylor Morrison purchase its plans.
"I don't think we're rushing into this at all," Cannon said. "We've looked at a lot of plans. Ryan Homes came in with a plan most of us were going to support."
Alderman Rob Banger Jr., who isn't seeking re-election to his Ward 5 seat, said he favors the layout of the site, which contains more green space and fewer buildings than the old proposal. The new developer also eliminated three dead-end street segments previously proposed and is putting in curbs and gutters on all streets, which wasn't part of the old plans.
The new development, named Meadow Square, calls for 54 three-story homes with rear-loaded garages and 52 two-story homes with front-loaded garages.
In total, the 9.4-acre site would have 22 buildings.
Earlier this month, the city's planning and zoning commission issued a 4-3 negative recommendation on the project, deeming the three-story building heights along Meadow Drive too tall.
Along with preliminary approval of Ryan Homes' project last year, aldermen rezoned the southern portion of the former Dominick's site from commercial to residential. Two 0.8-acre lots fronting Kirchoff will remain with owner Clark Street Development for potential future commercial use.