PLAINFIELD – Village trustees Monday sympathized with resident Christina Kupkowski’s plight when the developer for her unfinished neighborhood proposed significant changes to the subdivision’s plans.
Kupkowski was one of the first, and one of the last, people to buy a home in the Playa Vista subdivision southeast of the Ridge Road and 135th Street intersection in Kendall County.
She said she moved into a new townhome in 2014 with the anticipation that she was entering into a community that would soon be populated by 185 similarly situated individuals and families. She also was looking forward to a new clubhouse with amenities that would be built nearby.
But a proposal by the subdivision developer, New Lenox-based Hartz Construction, would eliminate 180 of those townhome units, replacing them with single-family detached homes. The plans for the clubhouse also were traded in for a 4.25-acre park to be dedicated to the Oswegoland Park District.
Hartz representative Mike Martin said Playa Vista wasn’t selling with the original 2007 plans for the property, which called for 221 single-family detached ranch-style homes and 186 townhome units.
“We’ve spent millions of dollars on this,” Martin said. “It hasn’t worked.”
So, Martin said, the developer was forced to change those plans for a senior-living oriented community into a single-family community of 315 two-story homes and the remaining six townhomes.
Kupkowski said her townhouse will be surrounded by larger model homes, and that it will be very hard to sell her property should she want to move in the future.
“So now, not only will my townhouse be unique in a subdivision, it will be out of place and dwarfed by its neighbors,” she said.
Martin defended the developer’s plan, noting that two other homeowners who bought ranch-style homes were fine with the new plans. He also said Hartz would talk with Kupkowski about how to make it work with her before the village board votes on any plans or annexation amendments for the development.
But village trustees said the developer was putting Kupkowski in a tough position. They were more concerned with the technicalities of having a homeowner’s association for the small, six-unit townhome project.
“I think your plan is good and I would certainly support that,” Trustee Bill Lamb said. “But I’m more concerned about the homeowner’s association. I think you need to maintain strong involvement with homeowners.”
Martin said residents could be more inclined to pay their homeowner’s association dues because the small community would encourage more interaction with neighbors. He also said a similar plan has worked for a development in Bolingbrook.
Trustee Brian Wojowski noted that one stipulation to approve the project change is that the plans aren’t “injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate area.” But Wojowski noted that Kupkowski is harmed by the change.
Martin said Kupkowski’s property wouldn’t sell if the plans aren’t changed. He also noted that he will talk with Kupkowski to work out the issues.
Trustee Edward O’Rourke said he didn’t buy it.
“I think you’re setting her up for failure,” O’Rourke said, suggesting that Hartz should come up with a plan besides a 6-unit townhome unit.
Trustees recommended the developer to talk the issues out with Kupkowski and come back with a solution.