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  • Megann Horstead

Officials mull plans for new townhomes


The New Lenox Village Board of Trustees reviewed Dec. 18 a petitioner’s proposal to build townhomes on the Village’s East Side.

Petitioner Brian Rigsby, of Rigsby Properties, submitted plans to be considered by the Village for Briarwood Place, a 48-unit residential townhome complex.

The project, if approved in January 2018, will encompass an approximate 5-acre site, located north of Route 30 and east of Spencer Road.

Plans for the property require the petitioner to seek a special use for the planned unit development because the current zoning is C-3, whereas the project needs to be converted to R-6 to meet Village codes. Years ago, the land was approved for a commercial office development, but it didn’t advance.

The Village had received no serious inquiries for the site in question for close to 10 years, Assistant Village Administrator Robin Ellis said.

It is the petitioner’s desire to appeal to millennials, young professionals, first-time homebuyers and empty-nesters.

“This is addressing those core needs that they have,” Rigsby said. “They don’t want too much space, but they need enough space.”

Projections show the townhomes selling at a starter price of approximately $275,000.

Mayor Tim Baldermann recognizes that there is a need for developments of this type and said those opportunities are few and far between in New Lenox.

“We want to see our kids stay here if they can, of course, stay here,” he said.

The developer wants the six proposed eight-unit buildings to share the same color schemes, and Village staff has suggested that they implement two, if not three, of them. In the past, the board has weighed in on matters of this type.

Proposed plans for the townhomes will require board approval of several deviations for which Village staff raised no objections.

Trustee David Smith said he likes the idea of adding the complex and emphasized that his only concern is for traffic and safety, especially considering the development has the potential to bring in more than 90 people.

“I don’t know how you’re going to handle that,” he said.

Rigsby tried to address the concern raised by Smith.

“This site, as an R-6, with 48 units [and] potentially 96 cars are less than what traffic study calculations were for the already approved C-3 zoning with the density that’s been approved,” he said. “This site, as an R-6, should generate less traffic onto Route than what’s already been approved.”

According to the annexation agreement, there is no stipulation outlining what happens to the property’s zoning if the project does not see final approval in a specified time period.

Baldermann and Smith agreed that they want to see the property revert to C-3.

There are three measures connected to the proposal including an annexation agreement, special use request and rezoning, and the board came to a consensus to push the project forward for second read in January 2018. Trustee David Butterfield was absent.

Baldermann said he likes the way the project aims to develop a piece of land the Village otherwise had no concepts to compare it to.

“It really looks like you’ve got a great product,” he said.

Construction of the townhomes, if the project is approved, is slated to begin in the spring of 2018.

Round it up

A brief recap of New Lenox Village Board of Trustees action and discussion Dec. 18:

  • Officials created a Class B1 liquor license for Ridgeway Petroleum.

  • The board created a Class D liquor license for Pico De Gallo.

  • Trustees granted a surety release in the amount of $219,851.25 to 101 American Pride for completing public improvements in accordance with Village-approved plans and specifications.

  • The mayor administered the oath of office for Michael Jurka, a new sergeant appointed to New Lenox Police.

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