Plainfield officials not warm on plan to build townhomes near high school

Village Board members say density, traffic are among their main concerns

A concept plan to build townhomes on a property just south of Plainfield North High School met a cold reception from members of the Plainfield Village Board.

The board met Monday night to hear about the plan which calls for the construction of up to 78 townhome units on about a five-acre parcel of land on the east side of 248th Avenue.

Jonathan Proulx, Plainfield’s director of planning, said the property had been zoned for medical office use and the owner had been unsuccessful for years in finding a suitable user.

A representative from Leopardo Development told board members potential townhomes could offer a more affordable type of housing for residents.

But the trustees said they were concerned with the density of the proposed housing units and if they could lead to increased traffic in the area.

Brian Wojowski said he’s “not a fan of dense housing” and that residents have taken issue with similar development plans elsewhere.

“The area that you’re looking to build in already has traffic problems with the high school,” he said. “That’s been a problem for years and the population is only growing and the roads aren’t.”

Trustee Patricia Kalkanis said it was not the right time to build townhomes there considering the growth already happening in the village and the need for infrastructure improvements to catch up with that growth.

“There is a massive growing population in this community and all we keep doing is getting more developments being put in, more residential (construction) but it’s our infrastructure that cannot support it,” she said.

Other trustees said they didn’t care for the proposed homes featuring only one-car garages and no basements which would not provide enough storage space for residents.

Trustee Cally Larson said it appeared the proposal in its existing form would not receive board approval, though she was open to seeing a plan for detached single-family homes.

The village has considered multiple new housing developments, including an age-restricted plan on Route 59.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.