Apartment proposal sparks opposition in Green Oaks
Residents in an unincorporated area south of Route 176 east of I-94 are mobilizing against a proposal to annex 4.85 acres to Green Oaks and zone it for multifamily housing.
A public hearing before the village's plan commission will start as scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, at village hall, 2020 O'Plaine Road. But "due to the outpouring of public interest" and need for space and parking, the meeting will be recessed immediately and moved to the junior high cafeteria at Oak Grove School, 1700 O'Plaine Road, according to a village notice.
The DeBruler Co. is the contract purchaser of the open property south of Rockland Road (Route 176) at 28685 N. Arcadia Road. They want to annex the site into Green Oaks and create a new multifamily zoning classification to allow for two, 30-unit apartment buildings, a first for the village.
Residents say that would create a number of problems, including increased traffic and potential hazards, more stormwater runoff and an influx of students for single school Rondout District 72.
Tina Summerfield, who lives just east of the vacant property on Ashford Drive, said traffic on Route 176 is "pretty bad" and would get worse with the apartments. There also would be hazards accessing the busy road because of a blind spot, and large vehicles would have difficulty traveling on Arcadia through a tunnel beneath the North Shore bike path, she contends.
About 40 neighbors attended the Sept. 5 village committee-of-the-whole meeting to voice concerns, according to Summerfield.
Among them was Marty Neal, Libertyville Township highway commissioner, who has jurisdiction for Arcadia Road. He said pavement conditions, parking, snow plowing and runoff are considerations.
"There are a lot of things to be talked about and answered," he said.
Summerfield said the audience was told fact finding will be ongoing and the village's plan commission must address all questions as part of its review. The commission makes recommendations to the village board.
Lake County planners in August 2017 held an "early assistance meeting" with DeBruler to learn about the proposal and provide preliminary information about development regulations and processes, according to Eric Waggoner, the county's director of planning, building and development.
But the company only made an initial inquiry and there have been no further meetings or applications for project approvals, he added.
A post Monday on a community Facebook page says that if approved, the project would change the village's heritage as a single-family home community and set a precedent for continued development of apartments.