Information about a proposed, six-story development on Addison Avenue soon will be made public, Acting Mayor Scott Levin announced at Tuesday's Elmhurst City Council meeting.
Elmhurst resident Tamara Brenner said during public comment she was surprised the topic was not on this week's agenda, since Levin had indicated at an earlier meeting that it would be. She said all business related to the Addison Avenue project to date has been conducted in closed session.
"There has been no public discussion since December 2010, when we heard a six-story building was an option for Addison Street," she said.
First Ward Aldermen Diane Gutenkauf sent out a press release last month stating she voted against a contract extension between the city and developer Arco Murray/Addison LLC because the "project has been discussed behind closed doors since Day 1, and I cannot support the approval of details that have been kept from the public eye."
Levin said aldermen will discuss it in public after next week's Zoning Commission hearing, during which the developer is expected to ask to build a six-story structure on the site, located at 135-149 N. Addison Ave. The city's zoning code currently only permits four-story structures in the downtown area, and many, including some aldermen, believe six stories would be an eyesore and set a precedent for other taller buildings downtown.
The developer is planning retail, office space and parking for the property.
"Feb. 28 is the Zoning Commission meeting," Levin said. "When it has moved beyond that point, we'll have a complete update on the history of the project and how we got to be where we are today."
The hearing originally was scheduled for Jan. 24, but an application for associated setback variations had not been received nor publicized in time for that meeting, so it was moved to Feb. 28, according to a statement from the city last month.
Brenner said she wonders if decisions on the Addison Street project already have been made.
"It makes me wonder if the zoning process is legitimate" and whether it's even worth the time to formulate comments for the public hearing, she said.
"But I will be preparing comments for Feb. 28, and I hope the public also will attend," she said.
Levin said it's a "complicated process," but he doesn't believe decisions have been made.
"I haven't decided how I would vote on it. I want to see how the Zoning Commission hearing goes," he said.
The hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at City Hall, 209 N. York St.
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