Lockport advances plan for townhomes at near I-355

Alderwoman Christina Bergbower, 3rd Ward, listens to another board member at the Lockport City Council meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 7th 2024 in Lockport.

Lockport — The City of Lockport is moving forward with plans to develop the Oak Community Subdivision, after a new developer proposed creating townhomes on the site.

The council met as a committee of the whole and heard a proposal Wednesday to approve a development contract with Calatlantic Group (also known as Lennar) for the parcel located west of I-355 and north of 151st Street, as well as an amendment to a previously established special use permit approved for the site.

The land parcel was originally zoned for office space, but was rezoned to single family residential in 2017 during discussions for the Prologis business park development. A preliminary plan was approved for the site in 2022 which would have seen detached, single-family homes constructed in the subdivision, however, it was never completed due to financial issues with the developer. The proposal discussed Wednesday from Lennar is to use a similar layout as the original developer, but to substitute the detached homes for townhomes.

The new development plan includes 39 townhome buildings, comprised of eight three-unit buildings and 31 four-unit buildings in the 25-acre parcel. All units will include two-car garages with separate driveways and 25 feet of front yard setbacks and 10-square-foot backyards.

The development also would include an expansion of the existing Creekside estates park, which abuts the northwest corner of the property, additional guest parking, pedestrian sidewalks, and a bike trail connecting existing pathways.

As part of the development agreement, Lennar has also committed to widening 151st Street from two lanes to three lanes with a dedicated left turn lane at each of the two access points to the subdivision along the road.

Lennar representative John McFarland was present at the meeting to answer questions and said that the proposed townhomes are expected to sell for between $350,000 and $400,000 based on location and specific floor plans.

Alderwoman Christina Bergbower expressed some concerns about including more native plantings in the landscaping plans for the developments, and questioned if there would be a need for speed bumps through the neighborhood, at least seasonally.

Director of Community and Economic Development Lance Thies noted that the plants could be potentially substituted, as the proposed ones had been selected from a list of pre-approved plantings from the city.

Newly appointed Director of Public Works Brian Lovering, also noted that speed bumps in subdivisions are not necessarily effective because they tend to cause people to speed up more between the bumps in order to make up their time, and removing and reinstalling them seasonally can cause damage to the pavement.

Both approvals were advanced from committee of the whole and will be voted on as action items to allow for additional discussion when the City Council meets April 17.