A split Plainfield Village Board allowed plans for a new subdivision at the southeast corner of Drauden Road and Route 126 to move forward Monday night.
K Hovnanian Homes’ plans for a 114-lot subdivision on 65 acres, with 33 acres of space, including three parks, a bike path and trails, were approved with a tie-breaking vote by Mayor Mike Collins.
Trustees Larry Newton, Harry Benton and Margie Bonuchi voted in favor of a special-use request for the Willow Tree Farm subdivision, while Trustees Cally Larson, Kevin M. Calkins and Brian Wojowski voted against the measure.
Wojowski did vote “yes” for the annexation of the property. Bonuchi expressed concerns about elements of the plan, including lot sizes and home designs, but ultimately voted in favor of both measures.
A public hearing was held before the vote, in which Larson expressed concerns, including that plot lines for some of the homes did not match up with existing homes in the Whispering Creek subdivision to the east, as well as the isolation of 27 homes at the south end of the property.
Russ Whitaker, attorney for K Hovnanian, outlined the physical constraints of the property, including a creek to the south and a gas pipeline that runs north-south through the center of the property.
He said that Hovnanian has dedicated more open space than is required by the village code, as well as $250,000 for a full park, bike path and pedestrian bridge over the creek.
K Hovnanian also is requesting a 50% reduction of its expected share of the costs for improvements to Drauden Road, as well as credit for construction of the access entrance.
Whitaker said this was necessary for the property to generate any profit, especially with a reduction of lots.
The developer had brought a concept plan to the Village Board’s Committee of the Whole last August, which originally outlined 130 lots for the property. The board expressed numerous concerns at the time, including density, connectivity, access to the subdivision and increased traffic in neighboring Whispering Creek, according to the minutes of the Aug. 13 meeting.
Since then, the developer has made many changes, Director of Planning Jonathan Proulx said.
Among these changes are the reduction of lots from 130 to 114, an increase in lot sizes to an average of 9,200 square feet and a stub connection to the undeveloped property to the south instead of a cul-de-sac for 27 homes.
Whispering Creek residents were concerned about increased traffic, with Sunshine Lane as the eastern access for the proposed subdivision, despite efforts by village engineers and K. Hovnanian, Proulx said.
A proposal by the planning commission in February to move the northern cluster of homes farther north to facilitate an access from Route 126 was topographically challenged and too close to the signalized intersection of Drauden Road, Steiner Road and the Route 126 signalized intersection and therefore not recommended by village staff or the Illinois Department of Transportation, Proulx said.
Only two residents of Whispering Creek spoke at the public hearing. Jill Hein said that she was “disappointed” that no other access points were explored to minimize traffic moving through the subdivision and requested that at least construction traffic not impact its residents.
Separately, the board unanimously approved an almost 10,000-square-foot expansion of the 25,000-square-foot Plainfield Lanes bowling alley.
The bowling alley sits on a 6-acre site at the northwest corner of Getson Avenue and Route 30, and includes an escape room and bar and restaurant, along with the bowling alley.
Larson said she was glad to see the facility having “come back to life over the last several years” with added features and that “it’s great to see businesses expanding and doing well.”