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Arlington Heights OKs townhouse concept

Arlington Heights trustees approved a 16-unit town home development only after assurances from village staff that the project’s density and unique legal structure were in line with other projects in the village.

The Arbor Lane Town Homes project, planned for a 1.2-acre site on the south side of Palatine Road east of Windsor Drive, is unusual in that generally such projects are structured as condominiums and fit neatly into the village’s regulations.

But in the Arbor Lane development, developer Gene Kripak proposed a zero lot line town home set-up in which each owner would own the underlying land.

Kripak’s attorney Mark Eiden told trustees Monday the change was because of lender preferences. “It’s the same thing only different – because of the lending environment,” Eiden said.

Owners in the project would still be subject to a declaration and bylaws similar to those in condominiums. Common areas, landscaping, maintenance and snow clearing would be managed in common for the entire project.

“We really only have two variations if not for this being a subdivision instead of a condo,” Eiden said.

But the subdivision approach requires lot size and minimum yard variations. The property, just east of the Pal-Win Plaza shopping center is zoned R-1, one family dwelling, so Kripak requested rezoning to R-6 multi-family.

Eiden said the developer had worked with village staff to make sure the project met village code with regard to parking, landscaping and storm water detention.

In approving the project, trustees also approved an unusual arrangement under which Kripak will pay a fee rather than provide affordable housing units in the small project. The fee of $ 27,500 will be payable the earlier of 30 days after 50 percent of the units are sold or one year after plat recording. A similar arrangement was approved for a $14,000 frontage road lighting fee payable to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Kripak said after the meeting he hopes to break ground this year, but must wait for final approval from IDOT for auguring under Palatine Road to reach municipal water and sewer. The property how has two homes on it, both with wells and septic systems.

Trustees Thomas Glasgow and John Scaletta, citing concerns over density, voted against the project, with the balance of trustees and Mayor Arlene Mulder voting to approve it. Trustee Norman Breyer seemed to sum up the feelings of the majority.

“I see this as an attractive improvement,” Breyer said. “You get a property like this, you have to do something with it.”

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