The second phase of the Mayfair townhome development has won the approval of Naperville officials.
Over the objections of neighboring property owners and the recommendations of staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission, the City Council this week approved ordinances clearing the way for Mayfair phase 2, a denser version of the townhome development east of Route 59 between Ogden Avenue and 75th Street, rezoning a portion of the land from commercial to residential.
The planning board and staff had advised turning down the proposal, citing their expectation that it would hinder the development of adjoining commercial parcels.
Opponents aired their criticism of the plan during Tuesday’s council meeting. Mayfair resident Sameer Handa presented a set of figures suggesting that the new dwellings would be built in a density nearly twice that of the existing units, an aspect he said he and his neighbors find unacceptable.
“I need to understand why these homes are being squeezed in in phase 2,” Handa said.
Erich Vora, who also lives in the development, said the residents didn’t receive the same notification they did before the Planning and Zoning Commission took up the rezoning request. Despite recent stories reporting the City Council’s consensus in The Sun and other local media, Vora said they had only recently learned the council was on the verge of countering the planners’ recommendation.
“I’d like to see some alternatives before this gets approved,” Vora said. “I feel that a lot of our concerns were heard by the planning commission, and they’re potentially being ignored now.”
Councilwoman Judith Brodhead took issue with the residents’ assertion, noting that recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission are not binding.
“At our last meeting this was discussed extensively. It was on television,” said Brodhead, who served for a decade on the planning panel. “There is nothing being done behind anybody’s back.”
When the council last month deliberated the request from M/I homes to change most of the property from commercial to a residential designation, the members noted that conditions have changed from what they were when the master plan identifying the site for commercial use was adopted 17 years ago.
Council member Bob Fieseler said one difference between the two bodies is that the appointed commission isn’t able to consider proposals in the context of the plan in the same way the council can.
“The council can decide whether that master plan makes sense or not at this point,” Fieseler said.
The group also was not swayed by objections from owners of adjacent commercial land, who say the marketability of their properties will be curtailed by Mayfair’s addition of 147 new dwelling units on its property.
Greg Collins, land acquisition manager for the developer, said no “funny math” was used to build a case for the zoning change. There is plenty of vacant land near the property that is ripe for development, he said, and ample access is provided via the streets that go through the parcels.
“I think we’ve done quite a bit to ensure that our neighbors have future viability for their properties,” Collins said.