By Bob Balgemann


The request to build a duplex on the larger of two lots adjacent to one another on Wayne Drive has produced differing views from among three who make recommendations on zoning matters to the Machesney Park Village Board.

The request was to rezone the 15,862-square-foot lot from R-1, single-family residential, to R-2, multi-family residential.

It’s first stop was the village’s planning and zoning (P&Z) commission, where it received a 7-0 recommendation for denial.

Also during the meeting on June 27, it was learned the village’s planning staff had recommended approval of the zoning change.

Carrie Houston, planning and zoning coordinator, provided background on the property.

It has been combined with the lot to the west, which in the past was occupied by a single-family residence that was destroyed by fire. After buying the property, the current owners had the damaged home demolished. Then they split the parcel, re-establishing the original lot lines.

Now the owners would like to rezone the larger of the two lots to allow construction of a duplex.

Village staff stated the request met both criteria required for the rezoning to occur.

One is that the property is large enough to meet minimum standards for a duplex. Also, R-2 zoning is an appropriate transition between the R-3 that fronts North Second Street and the single-family neighborhood lying to the east.

Second, the area in question is just beyond the multi-family and commercial areas along North Second. In addition, staff thought a new duplex would likely enhance stability of the area.

“(Village) staff supports new investment in this North Second Street corridor,” it was stated.

But five residents disagreed with staff and voiced opposition to the request at the P&Z meeting.

Overall, they said they lived in a quiet, single-family neighborhood and voiced concers about crime and property upkeep, should a multi-family rental development be allowed.

Cindy Slabaugh, spokeswoman for the owners, said they have several duplex developments in Loves Park and Rockford and that those are quality residences with responsible tenants. Additionally, such accommodations could make for quality investments for local community members. Those interested could consider reading a Roofstock guide to understand the technicalities of such an investment.

Discussion among commissioners centered on the need for duplexes as a housing option in the village, but that this might not be the best location for one.

The matter moved on to the planning and economic development (PED) committee, one of three standing committees of the village board, at its July 5 meeting.

There, PED in a voice vote with one dissenting recommended approval of the rezoning request.

Final stop for the issue will be Monday night’s village board meeting.


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