By Igor Studenkov | For the Bugle
Almost 12 years after the Morton Grove Village Board of Trustees signed off on an 18-building Trafalgar Woods townhouse development, four of the buildings still aren’t finished.
But that may change within the next few months. On April 24, the board will cast a final vote on whether to approved the changes to the Plan Unit Development that would allow for the construction to proceed. The new property owner is looking to build the remaining buildings in the similar style as the existing 14, using similar materials and designs. The few changes that the plans do call for are minor, and they have mostly to do with interior layout and the location of the air-conditioning units.
According to the board packet materials, the plan to redevelop the previously industrial area at 8601 Waukegan Road was originally proposed by Lennar Communities of Chicago LLC, of Plymouth, Minn., in 2005. Lennar managed to build 14 buildings, accounting for 84 out of 110 units it originally proposed.
According to the Plan Unit Development amendment application, Lennar had since stopped building in Chicago area entirely. It agreed to sell the remaining four lots to DRH Cambridge Homes, of Vernon Hills. The company is planning to build four buildings that would have a total of 26 units, bring the building and the unit number up to the original plan.
Like the current buildings, the new buildings would be three stories tall, and they would use similar materials as the existing buildings. But Cambridge Homes is asking for some smaller changes. Most notably, while the existing buildings’ air-conditioning units are built into the decks, the new buildings would have them at the end of the building. There are also some tweaks to the units’ interior layouts, mostly in terms of where bathrooms are located relative to the other rooms.
Members of the Tragalgar Woods Condominium Association Board got to see the plans on Jan. 12, and the rest of the development’s residents got to see it during an open meeting on Jan. 2. Under the village ordinances, the changes were considered minor enough not to require a village-wide public hearing.
The village board held a first reading on the changes during its April 10 meeting, where it passed without comment from any of the trustees. The second reading, which is when the board will give a final approval, is expected during the April 24 meeting.
Forum on proposed sanctuary city ordinance April 24
The Village of Morton Grove Board of Trustees will hold a public town hall meeting on April 24 to allow residents to give feedback on a proposal to officially make Morton Grove a “sanctuary village.”
As previously reported by the Bugle, the ordinance was proposed by Americans in Solidarity – Chicago, a group formed shortly after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It would require village employees, including law enforcement officials, not to detain residents solely based on their immigration status. It would also require officials not to cooperate with federal law enforcement agencies on investigations related to immigration status – though the ordinance explicitly allows cooperation if a person is being investigated for some other, non-immigration status related offense.
Members of the group spoke in favor of the ordinance during several recent board meetings. During the April 10 meeting, Morton Grove village administrator Ralph Czerwinski said that, before making any decision, the village wanted to get more feedback from residents.
“[The town hall meeting] would give opportunities for individuals to share their views on some of the topics that have been brought forward,” he said.
According to a statement posted on the village website, officials originally suggested hosting it on April 17, but AISC asked for it to be moved to April 24.
The town hall will take place right after the regular village board meeting, which will start in 7 p.m. and is expected to wrap up by 7:30 p.m. To accommodate what is expected to be a larger-than-average crowd, they will be held at American Legion Memorial Civic Center (6140 Dempster St.)
Czerwinski said that the village did some outreach to let as many residents as possible know about the town hall. Aside from the online postings, it sent out a postcard to every resident in Morton Grove.
Czerwinski told the board that, if the ordinance approved, he doesn’t believe it would change much.
“Most of the suggestions [in the] ordinance reflect the current practices of our police department, and the police department rarely receives requests for assistance from the federal government,” he said.