It’s been over a year since the contested Hartman Lakes development was first turned down by the Shiloh Planning Commission, but developer has changed the scope of the project, and with it, flipped the commission’s vote to an approval.
After a public hearing took place Monday, Nov. 13, the planning commission voted to forward the new plan for first phase of the residential development, as well as two special use permit requests, to be reviewed by the Shiloh Board of Trustees. Commission member John Lee was absent due to traveling, but all other members were present, and all voted in favor of the project.
The Old Plan
The previous proposal included building a combination of garden apartments, town homes and ranch homes, totaling 324 units on 55 acres near Thouvenot and Hartman lanes, with main access on Hartman Lane and an emergency access on Frank Scott Parkway.
The developer requested rezoning to multifamily zoning, which was approved by Shiloh trustees, but denied by planning commission. However, the former proposal also included a request for rezoning an 8-acre commercial portion of the project, which was tabled and later withdrawn.
Following a series of heated meetings last year, the village board of trustees ultimately approved the requests for rezoning but never got the chance to make final approval on the variance requests, because the developer, Greenmount Retail LLC, withdrew them and the planned unit development agreement.
The developer cited reasons for withdraw and redesign of the project being changes in the anticipated demand for housing in the area caused by the loss of the new National Geospacial Intelligence Agency headquarters to St. Louis.
The new plan
The developer now wants to move forward with the project in multiple phases, instead of one. The apartments would be developed first phase. Built on 17 acres, they would include nine garden apartment buildings, six garages and one club house.
Jean Thouvenot, who lives at 1410 Thouvenot Lane, was one of the residents previously opposed to the project. Thouvenot, whose property has been in her family for over 100 years, had issues with the development’s visual aesthetics and buffer options last year. However, since the development’s proposal has “changed quite a bit,” and has been “downsized by about half,” Thouvenot said she has changed her mind.
“Darrell (Shelton) reached out to me on his own and brought his new plans over earlier this year, and he did that on his own, which pleased me. He was very open, so I thought that was fair,” Thouvenot said. “I’m much happier, because they’ve taken the time to redo the landscaping, which is what we were concerned about.”
Not addressing the commercial portion of the project until the road improvements along Hartman Lane were completed “makes a lot of sense,” Thouvenot said.
Prior to the commission’s vote, other village residents also had questions about the development that ranged from who will provide utility services; anticipated start date of construction; what the differences were between last year’s proposal and the current; as well as, what the anticipated rent structure would be for the apartments.
Dan Hurford, of Hurford Architects Inc., and Eric Olson, civil engineer from Millennia Professional Services of Illinois Ltd., both said they “don’t know,” what rent will be.
Hurford did say the apartments will range from 814 square-foot one bedroom and 1,200 square-foot two bedroom.
Water service will be provided by Illinois American Water on the south side of Hartman Lane, according to Olson.
If the trustees approve the project and its design variances, Olson said construction could begin in about 16 months.
The village board will discuss the Planning Commission’s recommendations during its committee meeting Monday, Dec. 27, which is set to begin at 7 p.m.
In other business, due to the long public hearing regarding the U-Haul development at the Villages at Wingate off Green Mount Road, the Heartlands Conservancy presentation for the village’s Comprehensive Plan proposal was rescheduled for next month’s planning commission meeting, which is set for Monday, Dec. 11.