Naperville City Council moves forward with affordable housing incentive program

file drone shot of south Naperville neighborhoods
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Naperville City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to move ahead with an affordable housing incentive program for developers.

“With all your input, and with the good faith discussions from the council, we were able to come up with something I think will pass the test of time,” said Mayor Steve Chirico.

Incentive program details

Plan incentives include a decrease in the required yard setback, increased lot coverage limits and building heights, an exemption from some exterior wall construction regulations, and a decrease in parking requirements for rental units. There is also an opportunity for a 25% reduction in the park donation fee, and a reduction in city fees.

The number of incentives offered is based on the number of affordable housing units. Properties throughout Naperville which are zoned for duplexes or single-family homes will not be eligible.

Councilman Ian Holzhauer called it a “historic night for Naperville.

“We’re envisioning an inclusive future where people who work in Naperville can afford to live in Naperville,” said Holtzhauer.

Councilman Paul Hinterlong supports the program but mentioned his reservations with certain aspects, including parking variances and the park donation.

“It’s about finding that balance between all the variances,” said Hinterlong. “This is something we won’t know unless we try. At the end of the day, I’m going to support this.”

Public comment speakers voice support

Several members of the public weighed in on the updated incentive program, including Naperville resident and DuPage Housing Alliance representative Anne Schultz.

“(Affordable housing) has been an issue in Naperville for the last 26 years,” said Schultz. “The affordable housing incentive program provides an opportunity to take a meaningful step.”

North Central College Chaplin Rev. Eric Dolittle spoke about how he wants people of all income levels to have the opportunity to live in Naperville.

“Your support for this initiative is necessary and vital both practically, and as a matter of equity and inclusion,” said Dolittle.

City staff will now draw up the ordinance accordingly, to be voted on by council at a future meeting.

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