New Lenox mayor defends proposed senior housing
By Erin Gallagher For The Herald-News April 11, 2012 8:50AM
Updated: June 14, 2012 1:51AM
NEW LENOX — The proposed senior housing will absolutely not be section 8 housing, Mayor Tim Baldermann said at the village board meeting Monday.
His comments were in response to misinformation printed in other publications and online.
However, many residents continued to voice opposition to Lenox Place Senior Housing on Calistoga Drive, claiming that low-income dwellings will lower neighboring property values.
“This isn’t HUD money,” the mayor said.
He accused online bloggers of “fear mongering” by making claims that aren’t true. The confusion stems from a tax credit for senior housing, which Baldermann says is different from Section 8 and other low-income housing.
Two trustees who voiced opinions Monday were not in favor of the projects.
Trustee David Smith said he did not like the 260-foot roof in a residential area. He also objected to so many residents living on a small lot.
“I don’t think there is a clear plan what to do with the residents,” Smith said. “Just to dump these poor people in the middle of a commercial area is not a good thing.”
Trustee Annette Bowden shared her experience moving her mom into senior living. She said the proposed housing is exactly like her mother’s situation. She said she had no fear of the tax credit and was comfortable with this type of housing.
Still, one of the reasons she opposed the project is that there is insufficient parking.
“It’s really not very environmentally friendly,” Bowden said. “It looks like a sea of asphalt.”
Bowden’s second reason was the lack of activities for the seniors.
“If (my mother) would have been locked in that one-room apartment with nothing to do, she would have lost her mind,” the trustee said.
The board agreed to take another look at the annexation agreement. Therefore, there will be no vote at the April 23 board meeting, Baldermann said.