Kensington School Founder Barbara Marlas said she has wanted to bring one of her schools to Elmhurst for decades. Now that her wish is closer to being granted, residents around Spring and St. Charles roads might get more traffic control on Spring Road.
The Development, Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday gave preliminary approval to Kensington School's request to build a 15,000-square-foot day care and preschool on the east side of Spring Road, just south of St. Charles Road.
The school, which has eight current locations, would house about 140 children, from infants to kindergarteners, and about 22 staff members each day.
Zoning and Planning Commission members recommended approval of the school at their Jan. 10 meeting, but they also asked the city to consider ideas to relieve traffic issues on Spring Road between St. Charles and the Canadian National Railroad tracks.
The DPZ Committee praised the plan, noting that the stormwater detention measures and low amount of impermeable surface made this a better fit for the area than the nine single-family homes originally planned for the site.
“This would have far less impact than the nine homes would have,” said 2nd Ward Alderman Norman Leader.
Two curb cuts were requested, but the south entrance would not allow left turns onto Spring Road. Barbara Marlas told the committee that while there are a few busy times during the day, the fact that the school is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. means traffic ebbs and flows.
Planning and Zoning Administrator Than Werner told the committee the city will investigate whether there is enough right-of-way to allow construction of a left-turn lane on southbound Spring Road. A new left-turn lane would allow easier access into the proposed school as well as to Elmhurst Presbyterian Church. Werner said the discussion would also involve Elmhurst District 205, since the York High School stadium is across the street from the proposed school.
Committee members were also pleased that Kensington officials had met with neighbors, and that local residents had attended the zoning meeting to speak in favor of the project.
The project will now go before the full City Council for approval. Kensington hopes to break ground in March and open in the fall.
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