New luxury subdivision proposed off of Washington Street

Naperville’s Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday night gave a positive recommendation to a small subdivision proposed near the intersection of Naper Boulevard and Washington Street.

The proposed Hartmann Woods site sits just south and west of the intersection, directly north of another subdivision, Washington Woods, and needs to be rezoned R-1A for low-density, single-family residential.

Although the commission was unanimous in its approval, Washington Woods’ residents expressed concerns about traffic and landscaping issues.

“(More) houses coming all out on Washington Street at one spot (Ford Lane),” was the concern of David Zajicek, attorney and president of the Washington Woods Homeowners Association.

The property to be developed immediately consists of 4.8 acres, on which KHP Inc., a North Carolina-based company, plans 10 luxury homes.

Zajicek’s concern was that an additional 5.4 acres on the site will eventually be developed.

He also criticized the possible elimination of a natural forest buffer between Washington Woods and the new project, saying “one person’s scrub is another person’s beauty and screening.”

Zajicek further criticized city staff for not having a traffic survey already done, either by staff or by the developer.

“That’s what developers do,” he said.

The developer’s attorney, Russ Whitaker stressed that the first phase of the development would include only the 10 planned units and flatly rejected the idea that the remaining property would be home to an additional 30 houses. He said the luxury aspect of the homes to be built and their large lots would prevent the development issues suggested by Zajicek.

“The intent is to develop it in a manner similar to Washington Woods,” Whitaker said. “These are luxury homes.”

City Project Manager Rahat Bari said that staff had no concerns about traffic stacking up at the Washington Street-Ford Lane intersection due to the proposed development.

Bari indicated that there were remedies to consider if future development did take place on the property, among them a turn lane on Washington, a stop sign or a traffic light.

Whitaker also pointed out that any future development on the remaining part of the site would have to go through the standard petitioning process and be approved by the Plan Commission.

Although Zajicek had said the issue of some sort of trees or bushes screening the development was an issue of basic fairness, Plan Commission memberes took the property owner’s perspective on fairness.

“We don’t want to step on the homeowners’ rights,” Patricia Meyer said, while Sean Hastings said that he was sympathetic to the neighbors’ concerns, but the sympathy “doesn’t outweigh the right of property owners.”

Many on the commission simply weren’t prepared to act on the basis of what might happen to the site in the future.

“We have to stick to what is being presented to us,” said Kevin Coyne, while Bob Williams said, “It would be irresponsible for this commission to act based on speculation.”

In the end, commission approved the proposal with the condition that the petitioner meet with the neighbors before the project is taken to the City Council, which Whitaker said would take place Sept. 28.

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