Lemont officials heard criticism about one long-delayed housing development — Glen Oaks — and good news about another — Krystyna Crossing — during a committee of the whole meeting Monday night.
James Brown, planning and economic development director for the , told officials Monday that Glen Oak’s current developer, Anthony Perino, has cooperated with village officials in trying to carve out more open space, and has agreed to address water retention and drainage issues at the site, which is located at the southwest corner of 131st Street and Parker Road.
In exchange for working with the village on new designs for the development, also known as Leona Farm, Perino has asked for concessions in fees and other costs, Brown said.
Another developer’s plans for the subdivision were approved by Lemont in 2007, but it was discovered that a faulty engineering study made the plans unsuitable. The village had hired a company as an independent consultant and “they blew it,” Mayor Brian Reaves said.
During the meeting, Brown showed officials the latest conceptual plan — the product of six months of meetings and several designs.
The concept shows 249 homes, the same number as in 2007, but all are on smaller lots. Some of the lots are 7,500 square feet, which is considered quite small in that area of the village.
In his written summary to officials, Brown noted that the smaller lots allow for more open space while the developer gets to keep the larger number of units to sell. A prized stand of oak trees remains in the plan.
Kathy Henrikson, a Lemont Township trustee, addressed the board with concerns about the Glen Oaks development. She said it would be “irresponsible” for the village to consider putting so many homes on the site, which she said is sure to cause flooding.
“We are fighting the financial battle of this town’s lifetime," Reaves said in response. "We have to bring in people to live (and to generate more revenue for the village to operate)."
Given the housing market’s downturn, “we’re not going to have one-acre lots anymore,” said Trustee Debby Blatzer.
Henrikson said she is not opposed to a high-density development, but asked the board to "do it right.”
“We don’t have to accommodate this developer at the expense of homeowners in (nearby) Homer Glen," she said. "We’re talking about farmland. It’s a tricky area to develop.”
Henrikson suggested that the Army Corps of Engineers be called in to assess drainage and wetland issues.
Reaves assured her that the board was taking “a cursory look” at the plan and final approval is nowhere near. A public hearing will have to be held on the design as well.
Officials also learned Monday that Krystyna Crossing, a development south of 127th Street between Archer Avenue and State Street, has been purchased by Castletown, a Lemont building company.
The site went into foreclosure after one home was built and streets were installed. The original developer envisioned homes in the $600,000 to $1 million range.
The builder is scaling back to accommodate the market with homes in the $400,000 range on lots of a minimum 2,800 to 3,000 square feet, said Ann Bell of Castletown.
Trustees supported the idea of dropping a few covenants, or building restrictions, from the original annexation agreement. The covenants were added to reassure residents of nearby Chestnut Crossing that quality would be maintained in the development, said Trustee Ron Stapleton.
In other business, officials said they would be stepping up enforcement of vehicle-sticker purchases using new software the village has acquired. For more information, visit www.lemont.il.us.