P&Z Commission Unanimously Approves Ram West Plan

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Forty-five town homes may be built on Little Friends’ property after Naperville’s Planning and Zoning Commissioners approved Ram West Capital’s plan for conditional use proposal.

The commission also approved a yard setback and a height variance for the Heritage Place project.

Reasons For Support

Commissioners supported the plan as it includes preserving the Kroehler Mansion, and because Ram West made revisions to the plan they presented to the Historic Preservation Commission in August. At that meeting, the commission declined their request for a certificate of appropriateness.

Based off feedback they received at the HPC meeting, they reduced the amount of town homes from 47 to 45 and adjusted their setback from 15 to 22 feet.

“I think the developer has done a fantastic job of addressing those needs and honoring our city’s history with the mansion and developing an architectural style that is not monotonous, “ said Chairman Bruce Hanson.

The plan also includes a rose garden, an open space, and a park.

Concerns For The Project

Public comment lasted over two hours, with most in opposition of the proposed plan. Some community members feel the new development doesn’t fit in with the character of the neighborhood.

“This doesn’t fit, this is not my neighborhood, this is not what our neighbors want,” said Naperville resident Mark Urda. “As you can see by the volume of people tonight we are going to fight very hard against this change, which does not fit.”

No Mansion?

Others in opposition said since the proposal is centered on preserving the Kroehler Mansion, they’d be ok demolishing the historic building so other plans could be proposed.

But the sale of Little Friends’ property to Ram West is contingent on if the mansion is preserved. Some commissioners said if the mansion were demolished there wouldn’t be anything historic about the property.

“Without the mansion there is no history. The other buildings were built in the 50’s and they have no historical value,” said Commissioner Brett Fessler. “So obviously I’m in support of this for those reasons.”

The matter will now go to city council where Ram West will appeal the HPC’s denial of the certificate of appropriateness.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.


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