Local News

Plainfield Village Board rejects plan for rental townhome development

Trustees expressed concerns about an over-saturation of the local rental housing market, though a study found a need for more options

Plainfield Water Tower

The Plainfield Village Board voted down a proposal to build about 200 rental townhomes during its meeting on Monday.

The Wingspan Development Group presented an updated plan last month for the development it called Onyx at Red Fox Farm that featured a lower density of housing than its original plan. The development was planned for the area in the southwest corner of Route 126 and Drauden Road.

Many of the concerns trustees had centered around the potential for allowing too many multifamily rental housing developments in the village.

The developer issued a study by Tracy Cross & Associates which argued there’s a void of diverse housing options in the Plainfield area.

“This marketplace for years and years has been so undersupplied with quality, for-rent product,” Erik Doersching, of Tracy Cross, told the board during Monday’s meeting.

Plainfield, government, housing

The study found that among 16 rental communities in and around Plainfield built since 1995, the overall vacancy is around 1.3%. A healthy marketplace for such housing typically see vacancy rates between 5-6%, the study said.

The study also states that the newest seven apartment developments in the local market still are not sufficient to meet demand.

Doersching added that Onyx would provide an “excellent alternative” to other types of for-rent housing since the development is geared toward older residents looking to downsize or younger families who don’t want to take on a mortgage.

Still, Trustee Harry Benton said that while he acknowledges the need for more housing options and the board has been “aggressive” on approving new developments, he thought taking a step back would be the best option. He said he wants to see the village update its comprehensive plan for the first time in nearly two decades before going forward with new projects.

“I want to make sure we do our due diligence,” Benton said in an interview.

Benton, along with Trustees Brian Wojowski, Kevin Calkins, and Patricia Kalkanis voted against the Onyx development. Trustee Tom Ruane was the sole vote for the project.

Trustee Cally Larson and Mayor John Argoudelis were not at Monday’s meeting.