By Bob Balgemann


Two proposed developments have been recommended for approval by the Village of Poplar Grove’s planning and zoning (P and Z) commission.

Home State Bank is seeking a special use permit to allow construction of an 86-unit independent living center on 6.9 acres at the southeast corner of Menge Drive and Harvest Way, directly east of the Countryside Mall Subdivision.

Also getting a positive nod was a requested special use to allow a video gaming and private lounge in the Cuppa Joe’s portion of the Poplar Grove Countryside Market grocery store, at 13515 Illinois 176, near Candlewick Lake.

Both proposals received unanimous recommendations for approval during P and Z’s Tuesday, July 5 meeting.

In addition, the planning staff recommended approval.

The next stop will be a committee of the whole meeting, before getting final consideration from the village board.

Community Development Planner Gina DelRose provided a history of the independent living center property.

It initially was included in the 2004 preliminary plat of the Harris Farm subdivision, situated east of the Countryside Mall subdivision. It was supposed to be entirely single-family residential.

Due to economic conditions, an aging population and proximity to commercial businesses, the property owner created a 6.9-acre parcel through the State Plat Act.

In 2010, a previous developer started the special use process for an assisted living facility.

However, due to the lack of information available to answer questions, the request was withdrawn.

Home State Bank acquired the property in 2013.

DelRose said the current proposal would be three stories in height. Four units would have three bedrooms each, 74 units will have two bedrooms and eight units will have one bedroom. Amenities would include a dog run, playground, and community garden.

Nearby commercial uses include a grocery store, pharmacy and restaurant. She said there would be adequate parking to meet the village’s requirement of one space for each four beds, plus one space per employee.

She said zoning ordinance requirements including setbacks, 50 percent lot coverage, and building heights not to exceed 35 feet would need to be adhered to, unless additional zoning relief is requested.

Home State Bank does not plan to build the project and is seeking the special use to make the property marketable.

Conditions of approval such as aesthetics, amenities, density, and the extension of Menge Road would be placed on the request, she said, to ensure that the future developer stays within the parameter of the request.

Adjacent property owners were notified on June 15, as were appropriate village staff and various agencies such as the health department and soil and water conservation district. No agency objections have been received.

Furthermore, in providing background on the video gaming property, planner DelRose said it was purchased by the applicant, Anthony Dal Pra, in 2007 and developed as Pacemaker Countryside Market.

The Cuppa Joe Bakery is situated in the southwest corner of the building and initially would serve a limited menu. There would be a lounge area with the video gaming being allowed in that space.

There also will be a coffee bar, with wine and beer tastings scheduled in the future. The special use is for the video gaming, with the bakery and lounge already permitted uses.

Adjacent property owners were sent certified notices of the meeting on June 15, as were appropriate village staff and agencies. No objections have been received from any agencies.

In the findings of fact, it was stated that the grocery store would continue to be primary use of the property.

No significant increase in noise or traffic is anticipated because of the bakery reopening or the addition of up to five video gaming machines. It also is not anticipated that the addition of video gaming machines would create any negative impacts on surrounding properties.

The findings determined the Countryside Mall subdivision was designed for a mix of commercial land uses, which exists. Additionally, two religious institutions have located within the development, with the knowledge that this is a commercial area with such land uses a possibility.


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