Arlington Heights board votes 8-1 for Crescent Place affordable housing project
After another marathon meeting, Arlington Heights village board members voted 8-1 late Monday to issue zoning approvals to a proposed 40-unit affordable housing complex on Rand Road.
The board's consideration of the Crescent Place apartments, a four-story, 45,000-square-foot building at 310 W. Rand Road, continued during a special, four-hour meeting held virtually Monday night, after the panel's initial review that lasted nearly four hours a week ago.
The meeting Monday night included more than an hour of public comment from about 30 people -- including about two dozen neighbors who opposed the project amid traffic and density concerns. But of some 60 written comments submitted to the village ahead of time and read aloud by Village Clerk Becky Hume Monday night, 50 people were in favor.
The supporters argued that more affordable housing is needed for those who work in Arlington Heights and seniors who want to stay in town.
A petition with 632 signatures in opposition was also submitted to the village.
"My inbox was full ... and it really was 50/50. There are some very passionate people for this as well as against this," Trustee Jim Tinaglia said. "In this particular case, I'll take the tax revenue and the forward thinking and the diversity and the economic engine of this thing, and the good that it will do, than having it sit longer and longer and longer for some burning bush down the road."
Housing Trust Group, a Miami-based national developer of affordable housing, and Northlake-based Turnstone Development Corp. plan to build the apartments on a 2.5-acre commercial site that's been vacant for nearly two decades.
All 20 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom apartments would be priced at or below market rates. Of the 40 total units, 32 would be rented to those making no more than 60% of the area median income -- rents of $800 to $900 for a one-bedroom, and $1,100 to $1,200 for a two-bedroom.
Eight one-bedroom units would be for those making at or below 30% of area median income, with rents of $400 to $500.
Trustee Jim Bertucci, the lone "no" vote, objected to rezoning a portion of the site from commercial to residential; he suggested the Arlington Economic Alliance, an advisory commission of the village, should have been consulted. The village's plan, design and housing commissions all reviewed the project and recommended the village board vote in favor of it.
"It's interesting to me that we didn't reach out to the business community and our commercial business partners when we look at rezoning from commercial to residential," Bertucci said.
Mayor Tom Hayes said he favored the project because it required no variations for density or parking, as other controversial developments in the past have. The only reason Hayes said he would vote against the proposal would be for the increased traffic it could create, but he thinks the uptick will be minimal.
"No matter what you put in this vacant parcel, it's going to exacerbate the problem," Hayes said. "Can you imagine putting soccer fields there and having soccer games there during the evening? That would significantly increase the traffic problems in the neighborhood."
The $16 million development is set to receive $15 million in funds from the Illinois Housing Development Authority and $1 million from Cook County. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2022.