Council Denies Ryan Companies’ Baseline Concept

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No to Baseline Concept

Naperville City Council voted 6-3 against developer Ryan Companies’ proposed baseline concept for the 5th Avenue Redevelopment Project.

The concept came into council chambers with positive recommendations from both the 5th Avenue Steering Committee and city staff.

“The one thing everyone on the steering committee agreed upon is the fact that the baseline is not perfect, but it is an acceptable starting point for more detailed study,” said Amy Emery, operations manager for the City of Naperville.

Public Speakers Against the Concept

But among the 40 public commenters were several of those steering committee members, who stated they changed their minds and no longer endorse this concept.

“After study and discussion with neighbors, I realized the baseline concept doesn’t just need some tweaks, it needs a major revision and I ask you to vote no moving forward tonight,” said steering committee member Thom Higgins.

Though some on the dais felt the concept incorporated council’s direction throughout the process, others had major concerns with the density and size of the project.

“By saying yes, in my opinion, we’re either implicitly or explicitly saying to Ryan and to our residents that a concept at this general size, general density, general height is something the council finds acceptable and I don’t think that is the case,” said Councilman Patrick Kelly.

Studying the Project

Had council approved this design as the baseline concept, the next step would be to study how it would affect traffic, parking and other factors.

But now, the future of the project is unclear. Councilwoman Theresa Sullivan suggested taking a break on the entire project, but multiple councilmembers were interested in a workshop with Ryan to give them more direction.

That workshop wasn’t scheduled, but could be at a future meeting.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.