Bauer Place, a proposed annexation, rezoning and development of three story townhouses in an established neighborhood of single family homes received significant community opposition at three Planning and Zoning and two City Council meetings. The proposal was originally for 30 units, then ‘scaled back’ to 29 units. Planning and Zoning voted unanimously against the development at 29 units.
The developer reduced the density to 24 units and presented the plans to City Council. Four members of City Council said they would not support the project. Rather than call the vote on a project which required 6 positive votes and which would therefore not be approved, the Mayor made a motion to send the proposed project back to Planning and Zoning.
Councilman Krummen exhibited his customary level of concern for the residents he's there to represent.
Councilwoman Brodhead imparted her wisdom on the residents by explaining to them what is best for them .
Developer's Counsel was asked about a possible reduction in density. He cited as a hypothetical a reduction of 2 units, from 24 to 22, as “non-discernable”.
Density was ultimately reduced by 2 units, from 24 to 22, which developer’s own Counsel described as “non-discernable”. The only change made to the development was the reduction of two units. The developer also falsely claimed the exact same three story units were now magically 2.5 stories, despite the fact that the units did not meet the definition of a 1/2 story under Naperville's own Municipal Code, and the developer's own attorney said the units would be "marketed" as three story units.
Despite continued strong opposition by the community, City Council on May 17, 2016 approved by a 7-1 vote 22 three story units (a “non-discernable” change) for the location at Bauer Road and Charles Avenue.
*Just to be clear. These two did a complete change after the self-described “non-discernable” change. The "non-discernable" change from 24 to 22 units caused the following change in Councilman Coyne's position:
The same "non-discernable" change from 24 to 22 units caused the following change in Councilman Gallaher's position:
Pretty incredible, isn't it? It gets better.
On June 14, 2016, the developer submitted plans for 28 three story units at the location. That's right, for a project which was highly contested at 22 units, the plans came back with 28 units. The developer included an additional 6 units on a lot across the street from the approved site, increasing the size of the development by 27%. The additional units were never included on any plans publicly presented, and were never included in the plans approved by City Council. Despite that, not only did our elected representatives and City staff not do anything about the material change in the plan, they defended it. Planning and Zoning voted unanimously against the project at 29 units, and 4 members of the Council would not support it at 24 units. Yet now it's defended by City Staff.
Councilman Coyne stated in the press that the project would have been approved anyway, at 28 units. The same project he and three other Council members wouldn't support at 24 units.
The Mayor, City Council and City staff claim to have had no knowledge of the additional units. Doug Krieger, Naperville City Manager, is dating Kristi Landorf, the President/CEO of Little Friends. Little Friends was the owner of the lot across the street on which the developer plans to build the 6 additional units. Councilman Gallaher has been associated with Little Friends for years. Yet somehow, no one knew of the six additional units to be built on the lot owned by Little Friends.
Either City officials were complicit in arranging City Council approval of a plan with a material misstatement of the actual development, City officials were duped by the developer and their attorney, or some combination of the two occurred.
Whichever it is, it does not speak well of the representation residents received from the current members of City Council who voted in favor of Bauer Place.