Ever since the Palatine Village Council voted against Catherine
Alice Gardens - a supportive housing project for the mentally and physically
disabled – the village has been working with Up Development to find a possible
new location for the project.
Jessica Berzac, a consultant for Up Development, said a lawsuit is not the company’s focus.
“It is not what we want to do; lawsuits hurt relationships and we are grateful for the continued time and effort the village has already made to bring supportive housing to Palatine,” Berzac said.
Village Manager Reid Ottesen said the village has presented the developer with a list of properties which have at least 70,000 square feet of available space for a project at locations around the village.
Village Councilman Scott Lamerand requested staff work with the developer to find alternate locations after the vote was taken on August 5.
“The day after the village council meeting [when the project was rejected], we were in communication with them,” Ottesen said.
Berzac said the focus is now on the nearly dozen sites the village has highlighted that could work within the parameters of what the developer is looking for in a site.
Those include proximity to amenities, such as grocery stores, shopping, and bus stops or train lines – since many residents living in these developments do not have vehicles of their own, Berzac said.
The project, due to being in part federally funded, is prohibited in a flood plain, and does need to follow strict guidelines relating to size and if the project will 'fit' into an area.
In addition to going through the sites to determine if any would work, Berzac said the developer also is looking at adjusting its proposal at 345 Eric Drive.
“We’re focusing on places where the community and the village council will agree,” Berzac said. "We did have overwhelming support here from numerous people, organizations and businesses."
The reason why the property on Eric Drive near Cornell was optimal, Berzac said, was that the owner was willing to wait through the extended process and timelines associated with supportive housing projects in general.
She added that in her years working on these types of developments, pushback from the community has been a consistent theme.
“Our bigger team is focused on how to spread the word about these projects-how do we help to educate people on this need in our communities?” Berzac said.
Additional information added: Tuesday, August 27 at 9:20 a.m.
A similar type project was proposed in Arlington Heights, and rejected. The developer sued, but that lawsuit was dismissed.
Another project for mentally and physically disabled was proposed in Wheeling, and also was rejected by the village. But, that project is moving forward after the developer sued and won, due to Wheeling changing the zoning before the vote on the project was taken.