By Caroline Freer | on April 03, 2019
The controversial Maple Street Lofts (MSL) development could get approval at tonight’s (April 3) Mount Prospect Village Board meeting.
The Mount Prospect Planning & Zoning Commission has sent the proposal to the board with a positive recommendation vote of 5-2.
Residents who live in the immediate vicinity of the planned unit development (PUD) have worked hard to have their objections heard since the plan was introduced last September.
Efforts have included attending Village Board, and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings; emailing and calling trustees, the mayor, and village staff; creating a group called Citizens for Responsible Growth in Mount Prospect (CRGMP); alerting neighbors through flyers, newsletters, a website with an online petition against MSL, and lawn signs.
Objections range from the height of the apartment buildings, zoning amendments, classroom overcrowding, traffic congestion, and more.
Located at Prospect Avenue and Maple Street the property, formerly the Parenti & Raffaelli site, is now owned by Nicholas & Associates (N&A).
In partnership with Wingspan Development, N&A is looking to develop the six-acre parcel into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex which will encompass the village-owned Maple Street commuter parking lot.
During the course of expressing concerns to the board, residents have emphasized they are not against developing the site, but feel the overall size of the project and height of the buildings is excessive.
“It can’t go more than four stories to stay consistent with the character of the neighborhood,” said CRGMP organizer Stephanie Kenny.
The original plans included two apartment buildings, seven and eight stories in height respectively, 66 rowhomes and a three-story parking deck.
In response to resident concerns the developers have reduced the eight-story building to six-stories and the number of row houses to 56.
Asked for her thoughts on the changes Kenny remains unconvinced. “The people in the neighborhood, who moved here, like the low-profile,” she said, “The were attracted to the family-feel of the neighborhood.”
Director of Community Development for Mount Prospect, Bill Cooney, told Planning & Zoning Commissioners, at the March 14 meeting, that neither school district 57 nor 214 had voiced a concern about the approximately 24 additional students MSL will generate.
Kenny said she thinks the projected student increase is being under-reported, citing school enrollment documents, “Two to three bedroom townhouses in the area are showing twice as many students,” said Kenny.
Cooney also said the current parking agreement with the existing townhomes on Maple Street will be maintained and applied to the parking deck.