A plan to put the Briggs Street YMCA building back to use goes to the Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals a second time for a vote this week.
The former YMCA has been closed since March 2021.
MorningStar Mission Ministries wants to use the building for daycare, after-school care and a summer day camp. It would partner with the Greater Joliet Area YMCA on some programs.
No longer in the proposal is a plan for residential units, which zoning board members questioned in January when they voted unanimously against the plan. The zoning board vote serves as a recommendation to the City Council. Instead of taking the same plan to the City Council, MorningStar revised it and is returning to the zoning board.
The plan goes to the zoning board for a vote when it meets at 2 p.m. Thursday in City Hall.
City staff is recommending conditions on the special use permit that MorningStar is seeking, including one that said, “There shall be no future residential use or housing of any kind permitted at the property.”
MorningStar runs a homeless shelter and supportive housing at its facility on Washington Street and had planned to create 10 units on the site for affordable housing in its previous plan. Some residents criticized the housing plan, and zoning board members were wary of the prospect of housing adults on the same site as a youth center.
The YMCA building at 1350 S. Briggs St. sits on a 26.5-acre lot. It operated as the Smith Family YMCA.
Other conditions would require that MorningStar create an outdoor play area on the site before occupying the building and that the 100-space parking area be maintained.
The staff report to the zoning board notes that MorningStar plans to partner with the YMCA in providing after-school care and summer day camp programs. The daycare center would be run in partnership with Catholic Charities’ Head Start program.
The MorningStar plan includes using the gym for a multi-purpose room, according to the staff report. The pool would be filled in, and the space would be used for storage.
Other plans for the building include four daycare rooms, new rest rooms, new offices and a commercial kitchen to prepare meals for youth programs.