A 14-unit apartment building proposed for construction at 8845 Burlington Ave. in Brookfield will travel to village council for discussion and vote after the Planning and Zoning Commissioners voted 5-0 to recommend approval of a zoning override in a public hearing on June 24.
The recommendation came a month after commissioners asked developer Jason Huang and his team to revise the plans to more closely reflect the design guidelines outlined in the resort’s zoning code, which the village adopted in 2017 for encourage transit-oriented development near Brookfield’s three subways. stations.
The proposed three-storey apartment building would be a short walk from the Prairie Avenue station and would replace an existing two-storey frame building that would house four apartments. The garage at the rear of the property would also be demolished as part of the new plan.
“We listened to the neighbors as well as the commissioners during the last public hearing on May 20,” said Mike Mallon, the developer hired as a consultant by the developer and who was the main spokesperson for both Planning and Zoning Commission hearings. “We have tried to address all of these concerns and come up with a plan that we believe fully meets your needs, as well as our needs, in terms of [downtown] plan.”
The revised plan presented on June 24 limited the number of zoning exemptions sought to one – an allowance to build what the developer calls a “hybrid” building that incorporates elements of the townhouse and apartment building types. apartments.
Since the property at 8845 Burlington Ave. is located in the SA-6 neighborhood, general apartment buildings are not allowed, but townhouses are. The design of the proposed building suggests rows of townhouses and also provides for direct access to the ground floor units.
Mallon also described other changes to the plan in response to concerns from neighbors and the commission, which helped avoid any further zoning changes.
While the building still includes 14 units, the design now includes only one and two bedroom apartments. The three-bedroom apartments have been removed and the building’s footprint has shrunk slightly.
Part of the reduced footprint is due to the architect moving the building 10 feet back from the Burlington Avenue property line to meet code requirements. The narrowing of the building also allows the developer to provide two additional parking spaces for vehicles on site at the rear of the property.
The development, if approved, will have 13 spaces versus the 11 in the original proposal. The new design also reduces the number of long-term bicycle parking spaces on-site from 39 to 27.
Village officials are likely to modify the section of the code that authorizes the use of bicycle spaces as credits for vehicle parking in order to avoid any abuse of this provision in future developments. However, the change would not impact the use of bicycle parking credits in this case.
In addition to eliminating the need for setbacks, increasing vehicle parking, and revising some design features, the developer also eliminated rooftop patio equipment in response to neighbors’ concerns about potential noise. of the building.
“The proposed use is in accordance with zoning regulations with the exception of the building design,” Mallon said. “Second, the redevelopment of the property is consistent with the objectives and goals of the neighborhoods in the village station area, which provide for higher density, multi-family residential uses and pedestrian redevelopment in the city center. Finally, the redevelopment and the proposed project are part of your overall village plan, as outlined in the Brookfield Downtown Sub-Area Plan.
There were far fewer residents at the June 24 meeting than in May, but attendees were still skeptical about the density of the development and its proximity to single-family homes directly to the east.
However, other than the building type itself, the development meets the requirements of the zoning code.
“We don’t really feel like we’re building too much for this site,” Mallon said. “I think we are starting what is going to happen in the region, which is probably to seek to provide additional density to take advantage of the city center and its proximity [to the train]. “
As for a potential noise complaint from the development’s construction site, developer’s attorney, Ellen Raymond, said the building would be assembled off-site in modules and delivered to Brookfield and hoisted into place by a crane before being set up “like Legos.” “
“It should be a lot quieter than building from scratch on the street,” Raymond said.