Rolling Meadows panel says some townhouses on Dominick's site would be too tall

A Rolling Meadows panel on Tuesday opposed the latest plans for a townhouse subdivision on the former Dominick's property, deeming some three-story building heights too tall.

The city's planning and zoning commission issued a 4-3 negative recommendation on Taylor Morrison Home Corp.'s 106-home planned development at 2819-2915 Kirchoff Road, which would offer a mix of three-story homes with rear-loaded garages and two-story homes with front-loaded garages. The panel is a recommending body to the city council, which makes the final decision.

The three-story buildings would front Meadow Drive — a residential thoroughfare with single-story homes across the street.

“I was in favor when I first reviewed it, but the only issue is it's three stories 11½ feet from the lot line,” said Dave Whitney, the commission's vice chairman and one of four mayoral candidates in the April 2 municipal election. “I'm really struggling — without seeing any type of pictures — how they would look. ... Because of the uncertainty, I will vote no.”

While other commission members expressed similar concerns with the building heights, they were anxious to move the matter forward to the council, which will hold a committee of the whole meeting to discuss it March 19. A first reading vote is planned for March 26 and a final second reading vote for April 9.

That would be a week after Election Day but before the new council is seated.

“I'm very torn,” said commission chairman Jon Bisesi, who voted yes and is one of three aldermanic candidates in Ward 5. “On the whole, it's a good proposal. There are some T's to be crossed and I's to be dotted.”

City Public Works Director Fred Vogt, who oversees the city's community development division, said that until last Friday, it was city officials' understanding that the entire development was proposed to be two stories. Then officials received renderings from the developer.

Scott Barenbrugge, Taylor Morrison's vice president of land acquisition and development, disputed that.

“This has been locked and loaded for quite some time,” he said. “There were always three-story buildings on Meadow Drive. That was not an addition by Taylor Morrison.”

Taylor Morrison purchased engineering plans for the site from Ryan Homes, which received preliminary approval a year ago for 113 row houses but then faced financial problems and dropped out. Last year, the council approved rezoning the rear 9.5-acre portion of the former Dominick's property from commercial to residential. A 1.6-acre commercial lot fronting Kirchoff remains with property owner Clark Street Development.

The commission Tuesday also took a separate 5-2 vote to recommend approval of subdividing the property into three lots.

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