Zoning board delays veteran housing vote; more questions remain
By Bob okon firstname.lastname@example.org January 17, 2013 7:50PM
Updated: February 19, 2013 3:12PM
JOLIET — The push to build an apartment complex for homeless and low-income veterans slowed down Thursday when the zoning board postponed the matter until February.
The city is taking a longer look at the number of apartments planned for the site and the type of housing proposed.
Volunteer of America Illinois agreed to delay the zoning review of the project until it can address questions raised by city staff.
VOA Illinois wants to build a 72-unit apartment complex on the former campus of Silver Cross Hospital.
The project had been warmly received at a community meeting last week, and the Joliet City Council Land Use Committee gave it a favorable recommendation.
But some design issues arose as city planners took a detailed look at the plan, said James Haller, director of community and economic development.
The 72 apartments on 3.2 acres of land is more than the city normally allows, Haller said. He said there also are questions about whether the type of housing could be more varied to include townhouses.
VOA Illinois has proposed three three-story apartment buildings on the site at the corner of Copperfield Avenue and North Hebbard Street.
VOA Illinois said last week that many of the residents would be families with children. The plan includes 18 two-bedroom units and 24 three-bedroom units.
Haller said the extra month will provide time for the city’s planning staff to go over the plans for the development in more detail before it is presented to the Zoning Board of Review at its next meeting, to be held Feb. 21.
Rod Tonelli Jr., a local engineer working on the project, said both sides agreed to delay the zoning board review until next month.
The plan, which was first made public Jan. 2, had been scheduled for a Joliet City Council vote by Feb. 5. That vote likely will be pushed back to March, Haller said.