Buffalo Grove commission rejects Link Farm development plan

Updated 12/7/2017 4:50 PM

Buffalo Grove's Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-2 to recommend denial of a proposed development at the former Link Farm.

Despite the negative vote on Wednesday, developer K. Hovnanian Homes intends to seek approval from the Buffalo Grove Village Board, said Lawrence Freedman, counsel for the firm.

Buffalo Grove Community Development Director Christopher Stilling said the earliest the village board would consider the plan for the 50-acre property at 16802 W. Aptakisic Road is Jan. 22.

The latest version of the proposal reduced the total units to 192 from 214. It includes 59 clustered single-family detached homes and 133 two-story townhouses. The plan no longer contains three-story townhouses.

"(Hovnanian) ended up feeling that the best plan they could build that would still have market value would be the one they presented (on Wednesday)," Freedman said. He said that adding more single-family homes would hurt the schools because it would produce more children and the increase in the tax base wouldn't offset the cost of educating them.

The 6-2 vote reflected the concerns of people who have flocked to both the planning and zoning meetings and neighborhood meetings with the developer to share their views.

One of the commissioners, Scott Lesser, said, "It's too dense. The mix between single-family and the multifamily component is reversed as to what would be acceptable."

Lesser also suggested the development -- or at least a portion of it -- should be age-restricted, if the target is empty nesters. "If you truly believe that this project is going to be appealing to move down buyers and empty nesters, then put your money where your mouth is," he said.

Commissioner Mitchell Weinstein, one of the two who voted in favor of the plan, said he would have preferred seeing more single-family detached homes. "While I wasn't thrilled that the developer didn't make any substantive changes since the last public hearing, I was not convinced that it should be turned down altogether and not recommended to the board," he said.

Former Buffalo Grove Village President Jeffrey Braiman said the plan goes against the village's comprehensive plan, which envisioned larger lots on that property.

"Basically, it's just too dense for the area," he said. "Every time that there has been a public meeting, we have had a roomful of people who all said basically the same thing. And the developer didn't change their plan to accommodate the needs and the desires of the neighborhood."

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