5th Avenue Steering Committee Seeks Commuter Involvement

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Commuter engagement and parking were at the forefront of discussion at the first meeting of the 5th Avenue steering committee.

The 15-person committee is tasked with guiding development for the 13 acres of land along 5th Avenue near the Metra Station.

Concerns were raised about how to get commuter involvement, after the commuter representative on the committee was chosen by default. Katie Sowa was the only commuter who came to the interest meeting to join the steering committee.

Mayor Emeritus George Pradel says he hopes the committee can find ways to get more people involved.

“We’re not going to please everybody. Not everybody is going to be on board with the same thing, but at least we can get information out to the residents and the commuters and say, ‘Hey we’re going to have some difference here, and there’s going to be changes. You need to get involved,’” said Pradel, a committee member who lives on 5th Avenue.

Committee members and some of the 30 residents who came out also brought up concerns about just how much development is acceptable and how much additional parking will be needed.

“We need to remember this train station – this area – isn’t in downtown Naperville. It’s being adjoined by a neighborhood. You have residential properties on both sides of it. So that in and of itself talks to the fact that maybe a little more modest than if this property was adjacent to a downtown here,” said Thom Higgins, Park Addition representative for the committee.

The steering committee will next consider selecting participants for six working groups to review specific topics relating to the development.

Those groups will cover land use, storm water, pedestrian safety and connectivity, traffic and transportation, parking, and design.

“That’s where we’re going to dig into issues and really start to try and solve them,” said Jim McDonald, vice president of development for Ryan Companies. “What are the issues? What are the potential solutions? What do those solutions cost? What does it mean? That’s when we’re going to really start to get into the due diligence and the detail.”

No decisions were made at the first meeting.

Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.