Developer looks to build 107 ‘urban’ townhomes in Crystal Lake by Three Oaks Recreation Area

Developer Lennar aims to create urban townhomes near Water’s Edge development

Developers Lennar Corp. aim to build 107 units in 20 three-story “urban townhome” buildings with each unit having a two-car garage with a driveway that can fit another two cars, according to city documents.

More housing could be coming to Crystal Lake as developers propose a plan to build more than 100 townhomes near the Three Oaks Recreation Area.

Developer Lennar Corp. aims to build 107 units in 20 three-story “urban townhome” buildings, with each unit having a two-car garage, according to city documents. The plan calls for two grassy open-space parks with an outdoor shelter and a path that connects to the Prairie Trail.

The property, at 775 S. Main St., is adjacent to Three Oaks Recreation Area and the Water’s Edge development that is under construction and will bring 260 apartments and townhome rentals. The vacant land is about 13 acres total with about 3 acres belonging to the city, Lennar attorney Lisa Waggoner said. Crystal Lake’s density code allows for nine units per acre while this proposal is about 10 units per acre including city property.

The project was presented to Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday as a preliminary step. No votes were made and developers plan to return with a final planned development proposal, but no date was set.

The land is part of the Vulcan Lake Tax Increment Financing District. Currently zoned as manufacturing, developers will need to request a rezoning to multifamily residential. An amendment to convert it to high-density residential would also be required because the land use comprehensive plan designates the property as commercial, according to city documents.

The original plan calls for no on-street or guest parking, resulting in a shortage of 27 parking spaces from the required 243 spots. Developers also proposed to add 10 guest parking spaces and 23 on-site parking spaces as an alternative, Crystal Lake Assistant City Planner Katie Rivard said.

Lennar also developed the Woodlore Estates single-family home and townhouse subdivision near Routes 176 and 31.

Commissions were in favor of the plan and gave feedback to improve the appearance of the buildings, outdoor shelter and address density concerns.

“I think there are opportunities to make it look different from the other rentals and townhomes we already have in Crystal Lake,” Commissioner Natasha Teetsov said.

The developer plans to have an option for the townhomes to be owner-occupied, a factor is was important to many of the commissioners.

“I am delighted for owner-occupied townhomes,” Commissioner Kathy Repholz said. “There’s not that many opportunities to purchase a high-end townhome in Crystal Lake, and I think this is a peach of a location.”

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