Monday, July 8, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: A portion of Fillmore Street in Broadview that was recently vacated to make room for a 70-unit, three-story affordable housing development for seniors and veterans at 2111 S. 17th Ave. | Google Earth
During a regular meeting on July 1, the Broadview Board of Trustees voted unanimously to vacate part of a street in anticipation of a 70-unit, three-story affordable housing development for seniors and veterans at 2111 S. 17th Ave.
The street vacation will extend from a portion of Fillmore located directly east of 17th Avenue, and between 2047 S. 17th Ave. to the north and 2101 S. 17th Ave. to the south.
The measure aroused some concerns among some residents and board members who felt that the vacation would restrict access in an area that already has a heavy concentration of cul-de-sacs.
David Upshaw, Broadview’s building commissioner, cleared up some confusion among residents who thought that the vacation would extend from 16th through 17th.
“We’re going from 17th Avenue to the alley, not to 16th Avenue,” he said, moments after a resident claimed during public comment that the entire block would be vacated.
Broadview Trustee Judy Miller, however, said that, despite the clarification, concerns among residents about access issues still needed to be addressed.
“I did hear a lot of concerns from residents when we were out over the last few months regarding the senior housing complex and that street, and I’m a little confused, too,” said Broadview Trustee Judy Miller.
“Vacating from the alley back to 17th still restricts their access to get back on 17th off of Fillmore, correct?” Miller asked Upshaw.
“That is correct,” he said.
“So in order for them to get back to 17th, they either have to head back north to Harvard or go back south to Roosevelt, in order to even get off of 16th Avenue, correct?
“That is correct,” Upshaw said.
Broadview Trustee Sherman Jones said that, while he supports the development, it does introduce some traffic and parking complications.
“Because of the parking issue and enormity of the size of the senior development, there’s a necessity to want to vacate Fillmore at that location,” Jones said.
“I don’t have any feelings one way or the other, and I live in the area,” he added. “The development is very important and critical to the neighborhood, because we’ve got a large number of seniors who need the location. I do know that mobility in the area is going to be very challenged by closing down that additional street.”
Upshaw explained that representatives from the village’s fire, police and public works departments have had multiple meetings to vet safety issues regarding the senior housing complex.
He added that multiple forms of notification — including a posting on the village’s website, flyers posted on village-owned buildings, a publication in the Chicago Sun-Times and mailed letters sent to area residents — were sent out advising residents of the public hearing related to the vacation that was held immediately before the regular meeting on July 1.
Despite the communications, only three residents expressed their concerns about the vacation during the July 1 public hearing.
The vacation comes a few months after the Illinois Housing Development Authority authorized 1.5 million credits for the senior living development, which Upshaw said “equates to $13 million or $14 million.”
In January, he said, the village board granted the development a zoning variance to reduce the number of required parking spaces for the project. Ross Financial has been contracted to build and manage the development, and it will team up with an area non-profit to provide programming. VFP
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