City greenlights map amendment, paving way for residential development on Butterfield Road

Neighbor files perimeter objection, triggers supermajority for ordinance

(City of Elmhurst video)

ELMHURST – The City Council approved a map amendment request from a developer planning a project of multifamily dwellings on Butterfield Road, but due to a filed perimeter objection, the ordinance will now require a supermajority to pass.

The report out of the Development, Planning and Zoning Committee recommended a zoning change from R1 (single-family residential) to R4 (limited general residence), a variation from the amount of dwelling units per acre from 54 to 58, and a preliminary subdivision to consolidate the lots at 256 W. Butterfield Road, 260 W. Butterfield Road and 262 W. Butterfield Road.

By changing the zone to R4, City Council is allowing for a mix of single-, two-family, townhouse and limited density apartments and condominium dwellings, according to city code of ordinance 22.92.

The lots are adjacent to the Elmhurst Seventh Day Adventist Church to the east and a single-family home to the west. Even though the property is currently zoned for single-family units, and the city’s future land use map identifies the property for general office developments, council members approved the change because it fits with the 2009 comprehensive plan.

“Committee reviewed and agreed that [the application] does fit with our 2009 comprehensive plan, which briefly states that some single-family residences exist along Prospect Avenue and this entire area should be transitioned to multifamily residential that is higher than three stories, in order to complement the density and intensity of use of the new Elmhurst Center for Health campus,” Alderman Michael Honquest said.

City attorney Donald Storino told council members that an adjoining property owner had filed a perimeter objection, triggering a supermajority vote on the map amendment. An attorney representing the developer, however, wrote a letter indicating that they don’t believe the supermajority is applicable.

“At this stage our opinion is – while we are going to continue our research, it is a complicated issue – that it does trigger a supermajority and it would require two thirds of the corporate authorities, which would in fact be 10,” Storino said.

The corporate authorities are the 14 aldermen and the mayor, so to pass, the ordinance must receive at least 10 votes when it comes back to council chambers. The report was approved in a 12 to 1 vote, with Alderman Mike Brennan filing the only dissenting vote. Alderman Bob Dunn was absent.

“A number of residents from the seventh ward have reached out to me expressing concerns with the traffic flow that would result from this project on Butterfield and Swain Avenue,” Brennan said.

Alderman Michael Bram was hesitant to support the report. He was concerned with the language regarding the proposed stormwater improvements.

“It does mention in the report about the developer proposing detention vaults to accommodate stormwater,” Bram said. “It sounded – in my novice opinion – as weak language. Is that a guarantee or something that they’re contemplating?”

Alderman Mark Mulliner explained that the developer has to meet minimum requirements in stormwater mitigation established by city ordinance, but the applicant was planning on exceeding those standards. When pushed on the details of the applicants plans by Bram, committee members were not able to provide specifics.

“After we reviewed the applicant’s request, we looked at stormwater – which actually improves under this development – parking met all of our requirements, as well as traffic,” Honquest said.

Aimco report by The Elmhurst Titan on Scribd