Evanston’s Plan Commission tonight is scheduled to review a proposal for a 17-story “active adult” development at 1727 Oak Ave.
The Trammell Crow Company development won a favorable recommendation from the city’s Design and Project Review Committee last week.
The 169-unit building would have 139 parking spaces, slightly more than what’s required under the city zoning code. The developer is seeking site development allowances, as permitted for planned developments under the city’s zoning code, for the building’s height and unit count and also for its front yard setback and number of loading berths.
The developer is proposing to meet the city’s inclusionary housing rules by providing 17 affordable units on site, which the developer estimates will cost $3.5 million in lost profit. That compares to the fee-in-lieu payment permitted under the ordinance of $1.7 million.
The building would replace a surface parking lot.
The 1700 block of Oak Avenue (Google Maps)
Some residents of the Sienna condominium development across the street at 1720 Oak have objected to the plans, saying the new building would cut off sunlight to their units.
A market study prepared by a consultant for the developer indicates that there’s a demand for nearly 1,000 active adult apartment units within four miles of the proposed site, with an existing supply of only 154 such units.
A traffic study indicates no capacity improvements or modifications are required to handle traffic from the project, but recommends adding pedestrian countdown timers at the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Church Street.
Consequences more dire than sunlight
There is a large and growing opposition to this development by residents throughout ALL areas of Evanston.
I resent that the only objection by the Sienna community noted in this article is to the blockage of sunlight. There is a community of developmentally disabled adults, some with significant physical disabilities as well, supported by the Center For Independent Futures who reside throughout the two buildings. The impact this development will have on their quality of life, the congestion created by two 160+ unit building within a half block of each other (1815 Ridge Ave, breaking ground soon), and the safety of all pedestrians along Oak Avenue are only a few of the reasons a significant number of residents are opposed to this development.
Additionally, the traffic study is flawed, at best, and not an objective measure of the effect this building will have on the community. Being submitted by the developer, the study is akin to the wolf saying the hen house can hold a few more chickens. It fails to take into adequate account multiple relevant factors including traffic funneling in from the Ridge/Greenbay/Emmerson intersection and the full impact the 163 unit building at 1815 Ridge will have. Finally by its nature, this traffic study is NOT a study focused on safety, merely the physical infrastructure conditions.
The traffic study (found starting at page 104 of the planned development application) states that it explicitly considers the impact of the 1815 Ridge building as well as the 601 Davis project (since denied by the City Council) and the approved Albion development on Sherman Ave.
The traffic consultant, KOLA, is the same firm that’s been used for numerous other development projects in the city.
The building will generate
The building will generate about 500 car trips per day based upon it’s unit count for apartments
I highly doubt traffic will
I highly doubt traffic will be of any real issue. Also, just stating apartment counts alone doesn’t produce any kind of accurate traffic impact. My building downtown has roughly the same number of units yet it’s very, very seldom you see more than one car coming or going at the same time. There are many other variables to be taken into consideration to get a real understanding of impact.
Pretty confident that a building for seniors won’t effect traffic or residents from across the street in any significant way beyond what currently exist.
The fact that a traffic study doesn’t fit a persons preconceived conclusions is not reason enough to state the study was flawed. It’s tiring to keep seeing that tactic attempted.
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