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McHenry committee approves residential expansion

McHENRY – A proposed expansion that would quadruple the size of a McHenry home received the go-ahead from a city committee Thursday evening.

The size of the expansion had raised questions on whether it would fit into the surrounding Country Club subdivision, which dates to the early 1920s, but the Teardown Committee voted, 4-1, in favor of the project.

Jeff and Jamie Grubich hope to demolish the home at 3208 Golfview Terrace and expand their 2,921-square-foot home at 3214 Golfview Terrace onto the lot.

While the expansion dwarfs the current residence at 7,943 square feet, much of the addition is situated behind the home and not visible from the road. The garage also is placed on an angle to minimize its visual impact from the road.

The Grubiches also are requesting three variances, all of which need City Council approval. One request will need to go before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission as well.

“I was comfortable with the way I feel it will blend into the neighborhood,” Alderman Victor Santi said. “It won’t stick out like a sore thumb.”

Because the project is in Santi’s ward, he was one of five people to sit on the committee, which by ordinance also includes the chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the chairman of the Landmark Commission, a staff member from the Community
Development Department and a member of the public.

The sole “no” vote came from Nancy Fike, a resident of the subdivision and former administrator for the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum, who was appointed to the committee after she had gone to the City Council with concerns about the project.

Although the neighborhood contains a mix of homes with newer homes several times larger than the cottages that originally made up the subdivision, she thought the proposed home was too big.

Despite his vote in favor of the project, Landmark Commission Chairman Pat Wirtz said he thought it also seemed too big for the area.

“There’s no ordinance on how large a house can be,” he said. “I couldn’t justify saying it’s too big to be there.”

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