Developer will revise housing plan for Indian Lakes in Bloomingdale
A developer seeking to build hundreds of houses on a former golf course in Bloomingdale plans to revise the proposal in the coming weeks.
The changes could be extensive after the village's planning and zoning commission on Tuesday raised numerous concerns about K. Hovnanian Homes' plan to transform roughly 191 acres at Indian Lakes Resort into a neighborhood for empty nesters.
"My sincere hope is that the petitioner will take everything they've heard these past few hearings seriously," Chairman Len Jaster said during a third public hearing about the proposal.
Issues raised by commissioners and residents who spoke during the meeting that lasted more than three hours include concerns about potential flooding, increased traffic, decreased property values and the removal of more than 1,000 large, high-quality trees.
Jaster said each of the issues needs to be addressed by the developer "so we can have the best and highest use of this land."
The site was a 27-hole golf course until First ILR LLC, which owns the 223-acre Indian Lakes property along Schick Road, permanently closed the course and a conference center in late 2016 as part of an effort to preserve the hotel.
K. Hovnanian is requesting permission from Bloomingdale to redevelop the former golf course into a community for residents 55 and older that would be called Four Seasons at Indian Lakes.
Ultimately, it will be up to the village board to decide whether to approve the plan, which calls for construction of 535 ranch-style houses and a 14,000-square-foot clubhouse.
But before village trustees review the application for a planned unit development, the planning and zoning commission will make a recommendation. It's unclear what the timetable is for the recommendation.
The commission granted K. Hovnanian's request to have its next hearing on June 11.
Russ Whitaker, an attorney for the project, said the developer plans to use that time to revise the plan based on feedback from the hearings.
"We had a starting point, which was the plan that's been before the commission," Whitaker said. "Something needed to be put out in front of the community to start the conversation."
He said the comments provided by residents, village officials and consultants were "a fruitful beginning of the conversation."
For example, Whitaker acknowledged that stormwater is a major issue. He said preserving trees on the site is "something that's addressed as part of this concept."
But he said some trees will need to be removed to provide stormwater detention on the site.
"Those are things that are solvable problems," Whitaker said. "But we're only going to get to solutions to those problems if we have a collaborative discussion."
"It's my belief the proposed zoning request presented by the applicant does not meet the village comprehensive plan or the zoning ordinance," said Commissioner Chris Troiola, adding the developer wants to have smaller lots than the village normally would allow.
It was suggested that the developer build fewer houses on larger lots and keep a 9-hole golf course.
Another problem is that some say Schick Road would need to be widened if the project is approved. Commissioner Tim Coleman said the idea of widening the road is unrealistic.
"There's private homes on the north side of Schick," Coleman said. "The developer would have to approach all those owners and then essentially buy their land."
Commissioners also said the proposed neighborhood needs another entrance and wider streets. In addition, they want brick or stone on the exterior of the buildings.
Jaster said he was pleased to hear K. Hovnanian is willing to work with the village. He said he's "very anxious" to see its revised plan.