By Bob Balgemann

Development of a 48-unit senior housing project at 7633 N. Perryville Road has taken another step toward becoming reality.

The village of Machesney Park owns the five acres in question and has joined with the prospective buyer, Northpointe Holdings LLC, in a joint application, requesting a zoning map amendment to have the land rezoning from commercial general (CG) district to multi-family residential (R-4) district.

Both the village staff and planning and zoning commission (P&Z) have recommended approval of the amendment, which was expected to be considered by the village board at its Dec. 20 meeting.

The land under consideration is vacant, lying between the condominiums at Rolling Hills and North Perryville Road. It is southeast of the intersection of Perry and Vaughndale Drive, and a prominent entrance to the Silo Ridge neighborhood.

It was acquired by the village in 2013, following the original developer’s bankruptcy. Since then the village has paid for improvements to the subdivision, with the property being one of the lots transferred to village ownership as reimbursement for those improvements.

More recently the village received an offer from the co-applicant, Northpointe Holdings, to buy the parcel for construction of what is being described as affordable senior housing. The proposed development requires both the zoning map amendment and a special use permit, to allow a multi-family planned unit development (PUD).

On Nov. 15, the village declared the property as being surplus and authorized its sale. Per terms of the real estate contract submitted by Northpointe Holdings, the village is required to serve as a co-applicant for the zoning map amendment.

If the change to R-4 zoning is approved, Northpointe Holdings at a later time will request the special use permit for the actual housing development. Only the zoning map amendment is under consideration at this point.

Here are the two proposed findings of fact for the amendment, which must be met for the request to be approved. Both findings ask what impact the proposal would have on citizens and businesses of the village. In each instance, this amendment would have a positive effect on citizens and businesses, staff research found. Here are reasons for the two positive findings by staff:

1. “Although this lot has been zoned commercial general, a commercial user is unlikely to develop this vacant space, as it is further north on Perryville Road, where the uses have transitioned to residential. A multi-residential use will not impact the area any more than a commercial use potentially would, and would be an ideal buffer between Perryville Road, which is a major collector roadway, and the condominiums directly to the east.”

2. “Multi-family is an appropriate land use at this location. The proposed senior housing may keep aging village residents in our community, and perhaps attract more to our area. The proposed single-family, senior housing would be no more dense than typical duplex housing. However, because a number of units would be on one single lot, the R-4 zoning district is appropriate.

“The village’s comprehensive plan indicates ‘moderate single-family residential’ as a future land use for the subject property. The ‘moderate-density, single-family residential’ land use prescribes for single-family homes or attached single-family, which is consistent with the ultimate plan for this land. However, please be aware that the sought R-4 zoning could potentially allow up to 150 units, based on the size of the property, and zoning map amendments cannot be conditioned.”

Planning and Zoning Manager Carrie Houston provided details of the request to the planning and economic development committee (PED) at its Dec. 6 meeting. She said both staff and the planning and zoning commission (P&Z) were recommending approval of the proposal.

There was no discussion, nor questions for either staff or the applicant, from among PED members. The unanimous recommendation for approval of Ordinance 4-22, which followed in a voice vote, was moved on to the village board for further consideration.


Also Dec. 6, PED recommended approval of Ordinance 1-22 seeking a special use permit for one additional self-storage building in an existing project at 7171 Mitchell Road.

Manager Houston presented the request saying the 5.68-acre parcel was northeast of West Lane Road (Illinois 173) and Mitchell, with access to Mitchell. The original special use permit was granted in July 2019, with approval of the development as it is today, along with variances from fence regulations and commercial design standards.

She said the applicant now wishes to add one more building, which would be directly south of the existing units. Because the initial special use was approved contingent on the site plan as presented at that time, the addition of the building was a revision to the original site plan and required a new special use permit.

The land in question is surrounded by condominiums and vacant land on the north, Rock Cut State Park to the south and east, and apartments and vacant land on the west.

Houston reported the request met each of the six criteria required for the special use to be approved. Those criteria were established to ensure that such proposed uses would not create a negative impact on the immediate area or the vicinity.

Among the nine conditions attached to allowing the special use were:

* Development of the self-storage facility shall be substantially consistent with the site plan presented by Heritage Engineering, most recently revised on Aug. 18, 2021.

* Existing healthy vegetation and landscaping shall be maintained at the site, to the greatest extent possible.

* No business activity, other than the rental of storage units, shall be conducted on the premises. The storage of hazardous, toxic or explosive substances, including but not limited to hazardous waste, industrial solid waste, medical waste, solid waste, sewage, or used oil is prohibited.

* Security lighting shall be provided. Down-light well packs shall be directed away from residential properties, so as not to create a nuisance.

* The proposed chain link fencing shall have a black, vinyl coating. Fencing along Mitchell Road shall be wrought-iron style, six-feet in height.

* Evergreen trees shall be planted in the southeast portion of the subject property, to further shield the use from motorists entering the village.

With no discussion or questions of staff or the applicant among PED members, the committee in a unanimous voice vote recommended approval of the special use permit. Next stop for the request was expected to be the Dec. 20 village board meeting.

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