New Joliet subdivision inches closer to approval
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org May 30, 2012 8:22PM
Updated: July 6, 2012 9:26AM
JOLIET — The city would get what is being called its first residential subdivision in five years but it would come with some concessions on design standards, according to a plan that received preliminary approval from officials Wednesday.
The city also would forgo an impact fee, which would mark the first time that Joliet would do what some other communities have done — give up impact fees in order to encourage new home construction. The subdivision would be built on the former site of Raynor Park School, which was demolished several years ago but never replaced with houses as was planned before the recession hit.
“As everyone is aware the market has drastically changed,” attorney Michael Hansen told the Joliet City Council Land Use Committee as he introduced the new plan for Raynor Park subdivision.
Hansen, representing a new developer for the site, said the project would be the first residential subdivision built in Joliet in five years.
Nineteen homes would be built on the 3.8-acre Hosmer Street site that lies between Ingalls Avenue and Theodore Street. But the houses would be smaller than what was planned in the past. The city would relax a brick requirement that was in place for the original plan at that site but still would meet the city standard. The city also would allow a less steep roof pitch than what became the standard during the building boom.
The city also would give up its development impact fee, although the developer would pay impact fees for the schools and parks. That abated impact fee would be worth roughly $72,000 at the most, according to city building officials.
“A lot of towns around us have relaxed their fees to encourage construction,” said James Haller, director of community and economic development for the city. “We haven’t done that yet.”
But, Haller said, builders have been seeking an abatement of the fee that was first put in place to offset the cost of extending city services to far west and southern parts of town that saw massive home construction during the building boom.
“The idea was that the general taxpayer on the inside of Joliet wouldn’t have to subsidize growth on the outskirts of the city,” Haller said.
This development would go in an older part of town with an infrastructure that has been in place for decades.
House sizes would range from 1,200 to 1,670 square feet. They would be priced between $130,000 and $170,000.
The Joliet City Council Land Use Committee voted 3-0 in favor of moving the project forward in the city approval process. The development next goes to the city plan commission and could go to the full city council for approval in July.
Rosalie D’Andrea, the Realtor representing the project for Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell, is a member of the city’s plan commission. D’Andrea said she would not vote on the matter and would not discuss it with other commissioners unless she was asked questions at the public meeting.
Construction could start as soon as this summer with the first homes opening later in the year.
The developer is Tony Perino Sr., whose company is Brookmere Development in Burr Ridge.
“I think it’s a great location,” Perino said. “It’s a great neighborhood.”
Hansen said that while the plan varies from more recent design standards set up by the city, the new houses would blend well with the surrounding neighborhood.
Committee Chairman Don Fisher agreed.
“The profile of the proposed homes seems to fit the neighborhood size wise,” Fisher said.
He asked the developer to hold a neighborhood meeting to talk with surrounding residents. Perino said he would do that.