Veterans’ apartment plan tabled again; city questions remain
By Bob okon email@example.com February 13, 2013 8:32PM
An artist’s rendering of Volunteers of America Illinois’ proposed project to develop Hope Manor Joliet, a veterans housing complex, on part of the former Silver Cross Hospital site in Joliet. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 15, 2013 1:30PM
A zoning vote on the plan to build apartments for homeless and low-income veterans at the old Silver Cross Hospital campus in Joliet will be pushed back at least another month.
The project appeared to be on a fast-track when it was first presented in January and slated for final city approval on Feb. 5.
But then city staff began to question whether the 72 apartments planned for the 3.2-acre site were too many.
“It’s on hold for now,” James Haller, the city’s director of community and economic development, said this week.
The Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals was to consider the plan at its Feb. 21 meeting after it was tabled in January. But city staff asked that the matter be tabled again.
Haller said the city has not heard back from Volunteers of America Illinois since suggesting the plan be redesigned. The city wants to see more variety of housing than the plan has now, Haller said.
The project calls for three three-story buildings at the corner of Copperfield Avenue and North Hebbard Street. Haller said the city has suggested that the plan include some town homes with yards and possibly garages.
The VOA plan as it exists now has more apartments than the city typically allows for the zoning sought for the project, Haller said.
The number of apartments was not questioned when it was first presented publicly at a Jan. 10 meeting of the Joliet City Council Land Use Committee. The committee voted 3-0 on an advisory vote that recommended the full city council approve the project.
The zoning board was to review the project at a Jan. 17 meeting, but both sides agreed to table the zoning vote after the questions were raised about the number of apartments.
Attempts to reach VOA officials for comments were unsuccessful.