Swim school may be coming to Naperville
By Hank Beckman For The Sun December 6, 2012 9:20AM
Updated: January 8, 2013 6:19AM
Naperville’s Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday night gave two enthusiastic thumbs up to a west end swim school and a solar energy system for a private resident, voting unanimously to send both projects to City Council with positive recommendations.
Goldfish Swim School had been before the commission Nov. 7, but concerns about parking and the lack of direct input from the proposed owner prompted a postponement until Wednesday.
“We did not anticipate all the questions,” petitioner Randall Barba told the commission.
Barba is in the process closing on a deal to buy the property at 1688 Quincy Ave. for the swim school.
The primary question raised at the Nov. 7 meeting was about parking. A neighboring property owner testified about potential overflow parking at the school encroaching onto his property’s parking at 1684 Quincy.
The commission had similar concerns and Barba addressed them. His plan will eliminate four existing parallel parking spaces to improve circulation on the property’s lot and create 12 additional parking stalls along Quincy Avenue.
The changes give the property 68 spaces, exceeding the code requirements of 45 spaces for the swim school and 14 for a Diamond Automotive, which will continue to lease space from the new owners of the property.
Moreover, Barba made arrangements with neighboring Carroll Construction (1700 Quincy) to lease 32 additional spaces during peak hours for the swim school.
Ying Liu, the city’s Planning Services leader, stressed that as an owner, Barba would be responsible for enforce parking requirements.
Even with the changes, staff recommended that the owner agreed to take measures to make sure parking does not spill onto Quincy Avenue before granting the conditional use permit sought by petitioner.
Barba indicted that he spoke with the neighboring property owner about his concerns and assured him he was addressing them.
“He is now for our business and supporting us,” he said.
New Commission Chairwoman Patty Gustin said she was glad the public hearing on the case had been held over.
“We got a better product out of it for being continued,” she said.
The commission was just as happy to grant a conditional use permit needed for Michael McCormick to install a solar energy system on his residence.
“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I’ve been interested in solar for a couple of years and it’s great for the environment.”
Staff recommended approval of the conditional use on the basis that it was planned in a way to “minimize intrusions” on neighboring residences, noting that the solar panels would be black, just like the roof of the residence.
McCormick said he had personally contacted all of his surrounding neighbors and had not encountered any negative reactions.
“Actually, some of them are a little jealous,” he said.