New St. Charles townhome concept plan met with pushback from neighboring residents

St. Charles Municipal Center. 2 E. Main St.

The St. Charles Plan Commission reviewed the first concept plans for a proposed townhome development on Route 31 as well as testimony from over a dozen residents at its Tuesday meeting.

Local real estate developer Frontier Development submitted concept plans for The Grove, a 21-unit townhome complex consisting of six three-story buildings around a private drive at 5N024 Route 31. The plans call for 14 three-bedroom units and seven two-bedroom units.

The 2.54-acre parcel is located on the west side of Route 31, north of Abbeywood Drive and south of White Bridge Drive. The lot was once a part of local farmland with a house and other buildings, and has been vacant since the buildings were demolished in 2002. The property has been unmanaged for several years and is now wooded.

The property is currently zoned for single family residential, but petitioners are seeking rezoning to medium density housing to allow for the development of townhome units.

Conceptual site map for The Grove townhome development proposed at 5N024 Route 31 in St. Charles.

A stormwater management area covers the west end of the site and about 35 feet of existing trees and landscaping are to remain along the south end to provide a buffer from the subdivision to the south. A 45 feet wide strip of city-owned land would remain on the north side of the site.

In order to develop the property, the site would require stormwater management, wetland and traffic studies, and a great deal of utility work to bring water and electricity to the site.

Frontier Development principal Conrad Hurst said the units are intended to be owner occupied and prices would likely range from around $450,000 to just over $500,000 per unit.

During public comment, 13 residents spoke in opposition to the proposed development saying it doesn’t fit with the surrounding community and citing stormwater, traffic and density concerns. Several residents who could not make the meeting also submitted letters to the commission against the development.

Several neighboring residents said they already have flooding problems in the area and fear the development would only worsen the problem. Others raised concerns about light pollution, the height of the buildings and damage to the environment and adjacent home values.

The concept plans are expected to go before the Planning and Development Committee on Monday, May 13