Naperville City Council Tuesday night approved a nursing home for the northwest corner of Mill and Commons streets, a project that was first brought before the Planning and Zoning Commission in December 2013, only to run into concerns from neighborhood residents.
The neighbors met with the developer, Harbor Retirement Associates, and had their concerns largely addressed.
“They were nice enough to meet our neighborhood,” Fran Bixler, president of Century Farms Homeowners Association, said. “Thank you to everyone.”
The petition for a conditional use permit and rezoning to construct Harbor Chase, a two-story, 92,000 square-foot retirement community, including a memory care unit and 96 assisted-living units, drew about 40 neighborhood residents to the December Planning Commission meeting.
Being adjacent to Nike Park and in close proximity to residential neighborhoods sparked worries about traffic.
Neighbors were particularly worried because Nike Park has been growing in popularity due to improvements there, increasing traffic congestion.
With traffic already being congested at the proposed entrance point at Commons and Mill streets, residents feared even worse traffic nightmares from the proposed facility.
Bixler Tuesday again pressed the city to consider a traffic light for Commons and Mill, which she said was critical, “especially in regards to the children crossing to Nike Park.”
City Transportation, Engineering and Developement Director Bill Novack said that the city had already performed one traffic study in the area of the intersection, and would continue to study traffic there.
“But I wouldn’t get my hopes up (for a light),” he said, basing his opinion on the traffic flow already observed.
Another solution to the feared congestion is an entrance off Diehl Road at West Street for the project. However, the developer said that option is impractical because the property directly north of the site is owned by a private party whose permission would have to be obtained before building a new road. There has been no indication that the private party has any plans in the immediate future to develop the parcel there.
However, an access road off Diehl might still be in the picture.
As Plannning and Zoning Commissioner Bob Williams stressed back when the commission finally approved the project in January, future development would solve the problem because, “(the owner) has to do it at some point or else it won’t be developed.”Tags: construction, Naperville City Council