Des Plaines subdivision plans advance, despite traffic concerns

Updated 11/7/2017 4:42 PM

A proposal to annex land on the northeast side of Des Plaines and build a subdivision cleared a major hurdle Monday, despite concerns over traffic congestion, the destruction of large oak trees and high density.

The city council preliminarily approved a plan by Dubin Consulting to construct 39 homes on about 6½ acres in the 300 block of North East River Road. Aldermen voted 7-1 in favor of the development, with 2nd Ward Alderman Jack Robinson opposing the measure without comment.

The single-family homes would be located north of a 236-unit apartment complex called Lexington Covington Woods under construction at the intersection of Golf and East River roads.

The intersection already is busy because it's near an exit ramp for I-294, and the new developments likely will exacerbate problems. A traffic study suggests changing the timing of the stop lights to improve traffic flow, but that's still under consideration by Cook County, City Manager Mike Bartholomew said.

In addition to more traffic, residents opposed the plans because the property has aged oak trees that would be cut down for the development. The developer intends to keep several oak trees on the property, but a survey showed others need to be cut down for stormwater management purposes, Bartholomew said.

The developer does have plans to plant more than 200 trees on the property.

The project also is more dense than typically allowed under city code, a sticking point for some residents. While 39 homes are proposed, the zoning code normally would allow for just eight homes on a parcel this size.

Dubin Consulting reduced the number of homes from the 50 proposed a year ago. An attorney for the company said larger plots would make the properties too expensive for homeowners. Adding single-family homes to the city's newest real estate options, which have lately been either town homes or apartments, would be a benefit, according to the developer. The development plans and annexation will be considered for another vote Tuesday, Nov. 20, with final approval expected in December, Bartholomew said.

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