New Lenox trustees are considering a new proposal for the multi-unit apartment complex known as Lincoln Station Apartments that had been shelved after the board in 2017 denied an extension for the special use permit for the development.
Trustees brought up familiar concerns about the density of the new proposal and impact on traffic at the village board’s meeting Monday night.
New Lenox Development Company — under new ownership – is proposing a five-building campus-style layout with a maximum of 220 units at the 16-acre property next to the Metra station at Route 30 and Prairie Road.
Two-thirds of the apartments are to be single-bedroom or studio units and one-third will be two-bedrooms units. The new plan also shows a clubhouse with a pool and other amenities.
The original proposal by NLDC had caused controversy for almost a year with opposition from dozens of residents in 2015.
This led to the developer reducing the number of proposed units from 312 to 208 before the village granted the special use request in August of 2015.
However, with the special use request only valid for one year during which time a final development plan must be submitted to the village for approval, NLDC requested two six-month extensions because it was awaiting approval permits from the Army Corps of Engineers.
A motion to approve a third extension was allowed to die on the floor at the board’s August 14, 2017, meeting because the developer by then had plans to sell the property and Mayor Tim Baldermann and board trustees were not pleased that the development had not moved forward.
Trustee Dave Smith, at Monday night’s meeting said that he thought “the density was too high” for the new proposal.
“It was bad enough before but with the new Metra station and (businesses), it’s too much,” Smith said.
Since the approval of the original Lincoln Station development in 2015, a CVS Pharmacy and a Starbuck’s have opened at the corner of Route 30 and Cedar Road. A Joey’s restaurant is expected to open in the spring.
Construction of the new Metra station is expected to start this spring, said village Administrator Kurt Carroll.
Smith added that he didn’t want the village to eventually end up spending millions to add a lane to Route 30 because of increased traffic.
Trustee Jasen Howard agreed with Smith, saying traffic already backs up on Route 30 due to Metra commuters.
Baldermann agreed the impact on traffic during “peak times” was a concern “for a substandard road” like Prairie Road, but said the proposed development was the only feasible use for the property.
“That parcel being what it is, this is about all that it is good for,” Baldermann said. “Because commercial doesn’t want to go in there and you can’t put single-family (housing) in there.
“The alternative is that this parcel will probably sit there forever because there is not another use that works there,” he said.
The measure is expected to come to the board for approval at its meeting on January 27.
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