Work Samples

  • Megann Horstead

Tinley Park officials decide to not move forward with controversial Brookside Glen development

The Village of Tinley Park will not be welcoming a new subdivision planned for the west corner of Magnuson Lane and John Michael Drive.

The Board of Trustees were met by applause July 11 at a special meeting for siding with the Village’s Plan Commission to deny a request to advance The Residence at Brookside Glen, a 144-unit multi-family residential project. Trustees did not approve a special use permit for a substantial deviation.

In recent months, zoning for the proposed housing development planned for the Brookside Glen subdivision has come under fire. The lot in question is currently zoned as R-5, while village codes state R-5 is for low-density residential, not apartment buildings like The Residence. Such proposed uses in the Village belong in R-6.

The matter is complicated because some of the documents that govern the underlying zoning are missing, according to The Junction’s previous reports.

“There’s been some question along the way as to whether that ordinance is clear or not,” said Andrea Crowley, an attorney for Griffin & Gallagher, LLC and petitioner for Karli Mayher and KJM-Vandenberg Brookside Joint Venture. “We believe it’s unambiguous taken into consideration with the site plan that was simultaneously approved [and] signed by the Village — all of the minutes, all of the staff reports, the building permits, and the 208-occupancy permits that were issued in conformance with this density.

“So, the density is not in question. We’re not here asking for density. We’re merely here asking for site plan [approval].”

To propel the proposed project over the last year, the petitioner reduced the number of buildings from nine to two and kept the density. They’ve added millions of dollars of amenities and over 4-acres of green space.

Michael Mueller, a representative from United Against Brookside Glen Apartments, spoke on behalf of the proposal's opponents and cited the neighborhood’s character, the use of substantial deviation to increase the revenue of the property, and the negative impact on existing property values as the main arguments for wanting the board to reject project.

Without further discussion, the board unanimously accepted the recommendation of the Plan Commission based on evidence presented.

Village Attorney Patrick Connelly wanted to make sure the public understands the implications of the board’s decision.

“As this would be a failure here at first reading, [the current proposal] would not come back to this board,” he said. “This would be the vote on this project.”

Crowley tried to inform the public of her intent to approach the Village Board with another proposal at a later date.

“If you don’t want the project that we have in front of you tonight with the open space and amenities and will likely vote ‘No,’ then we understand that,” she said. ”We’ll probably come back with the nine buildings, but it will be a lesser project, and it will be an inferior project because it won’t have the amenities and the green space, but it will be in complete [conformance with the rules].”

Katie Campbell, a resident of the Brookside Glen subdivision, said when she heard what Crowley said it makes her nervous.

“I feel like we won the battle but not the war,” she said. “I just had a question about what’s next: Do they just get to come in and do whatever they want, or does this village still have a say?”

It remained unclear to residents how the board will vote in the future because it all depends on what the petitioner is planning to propose next time around.

Michael Paus, of Tinley Park, offered his opinion during public comment to the many concerned residents.

“In regards to what they’re going to come back with, they’re going to come back with probably what the code is,” he said. “Go back and read what is in that [Planned Unit Development] and then stay on them.

"If you want to try and resolve things with regards to R-5 versus R-6, keep fighting the fight. They’re going to probably look at that code exactly what it is and show something that’s going to be exactly in line with it.”

Requests for liquor, video gaming licenses approved

Also at the meeting, the Board of Trustees passed a pair of measures to grant requests for liquor and video gaming licenses at two locations. A Class EV liquor/video license will support Fratello's Deli & Catering and its intent to operate a delicatessen at 7101 183rd St. and a restaurant at 17823 80th Ave.

“This first license, I’m against it — the second one, I’m for it," Trustee Michael Glotz said, "and here, I feel is an opportunity to use these machines as a tool to take a building that’s been vacant for three years and get a business in there.”

The property located at 7101 183rd St. had not been vacant as long as the other lot in question, he added.

Glotz did not want to put aside his displeasure for gambling with regard to the other request. Trustee Michael Pannitto shared Glotz's sentiments and added he hopes Fratello's businesses succeed in Tinley.

Glotz urged the village to put a cap limit on the number of liquor and video gaming licenses approved by the board moving forward.

“This will make sure that we don’t have video gaming increasing all through Tinley Park,” he said.

To date, the Village of Tinley Park has issued 77 liquor licenses to area businesses and out of those 27 include video gaming.

Mayor Jacob Vandenberg wanted the public to understand the Village’s intent for the funds generated by advancing such licenses.

“Last Saturday, [I] just went to Music in the Plaza — huge event, a lot of residents showing up there,” he said. “It was a great band. Those events are sponsored— they have sponsors— but they’re not going to cover all the costs. A lot of these monies are going to be earmarked for these events — free events to our residents. Part of this as well, we’re going to be taking these monies and generating them and putting them into certain buckets that’ll be utilized for our branding efforts and really trying to stimulate a lot of our interaction and entertainment in our downtown area.”

Vandenberg added, “I hope that this is the beginning stages of making sure that that dialogue continues going forward, and I’m sure that’s something that a lot of people in this room weren’t aware of.”

In a pair of votes, Tinley Park officials approved 4-2 a liquor and video gaming license for a delicatessen with a grocery and a 5-1 to grant a similar measure for a full services restaurant. Pannitto cast dissenting votes with regard to both requests.


Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion from the July 11 Tinley Park Village Board special meeting

• Tinley Park officials agreed to award a professional services contract, valued at $79,965 to Lakota Group to advance plans for a business, programming and marketing action plan for Downtown Tinley Plaza.

• Board action approves a four-year, 50-percent property tax abatement of the village’s portion to support redevelopment of property located at 8451 W. 183rd Pl. There, Surface Shields intends to occupy a warehouse to produce and distribute an expansive product line of surface protection, dust containment and adhesive tape products

• The Village confirmed a list of new appointments to the 2017-2018 Plan Commission. To serve on the committee is Ken Shaw as the new chairman followed by commissioners, Eduardo Mani, John Curran, Lucas Engel, Angela Gatto, Bill Lemonnier and Garrett Gray. Peter Kroner and Tim Stanton are to reprise their roles as commissioners, as well.

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