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Residential expansion receives another round of approval

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 4:12 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 11:31 p.m. CDT

McHENRY – A proposed residential expansion that raised questions on how and when to protect historic neighborhoods cleared another hurdle Monday evening.

In a 5-2 vote, the McHenry City Council approved two of the three variances McHenry residents Jeff and Jamie Grubich had requested.

The third variance – for a third driveway entrance – must go before the McHenry Planning and Zoning Commission before it comes before the council.

The Grubichs hope to demolish the home at 3208 Golfview Terrace and expand their 2,921-square-foot home at 3214 Golfview Terrace onto the lot, according to plans submitted to the city. The expansion will add an additional 7,943 square feet to the home.

Questions have been raised over whether the expanded home will fit into the surrounding Country Club subdivision, which dates to the early 1920s. Other subdivision residents also have asked whether it will affect water runoff from the property.

The project is the first to trigger the city’s residential teardown and infill ordinance, which was created in 2005 not long before the housing market crash.

The Grubichs received variances from two of the ordinance’s provisions Monday evening, including a 60-day waiting period for the demolition and a requirement that the side yard setbacks be increased proportionally with the added width of the lot.

While the Grubichs’ residential zoning normally would require minimum side yard setbacks of 6 feet, under the teardown ordinance, the setback would need to be increased to 19.1 feet.

Alderman Victor Santi, whose ward includes the Grubichs’ home so he sat on the teardown committee for this item, said he was “comfortable with the variances.”

Alderwoman Geri Condon, who, along with Alderman Andy Glab, voted against the project, was a part of the committee that drafted the original ordinance.

“When we discussed that years ago, it was because of the exact reason that has been brought up, keeping homes in relative size,” Condon said. “That’s why we put it there. We didn’t want homes out of the character of that community.”

The Community Development Committee will be reviewing the ordinance and associated design guidelines next year in light of its implementation, Condon said.

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