By Andrea Earnest | Bugle Staff
The Downers Grove Village Council last week approved a 3,900-square-foot mixed-use development on Maple Avenue, despite objections from area residents.
Located near the intersection Maple Avenue and Main Street, the development will include retail space and 115 apartments. The approval of the project required the council to pass an ordinance for the designation of the development, a land purchase agreement, and rezoning and a special use permits.
Several residents and business owners have stated their opposition to the project. One of the main concerns residents had was about parking.
Village staff said updated plans for the project require the developer to convert an existing bus stop on the east side of Main Street into four on-street parking spots, provided that Pace approves the elimination or relocation of the stop. The planned development also includes 10 on-street parking spaces, as well as 162 enclosed off-street parking spaces.
At the June 28 meeting, several residents continued to address the council about their concerns.
Thomas Weiler, who lives near the development, said he wasn’t opposed to developments of this type but was opposed to the development being on Maple Avenue.
Weiler said the zoning code for the downtown area should be changed to include buffer zones, adding that he is concerned additional developments will come into the area in the future and make it even more crowded downtown.
Resident Mary Ann Badke said she was disappointed with the council’s decision.
“I feel like we’re selling our souls for $60,” she said in response to claims that the development would save residents $60 on their property tax bills. “If the TIF wasn’t underwater…I don’t think you’d be going this big.”
Badke added that she’s worried the development would change the character of the area.
Despite residents concerns, commissioners felt that the development would benefit the downtown and aligns with the village’s long-range plan.
The council approved the development unanimously.