Cary apartment complex to be discussed Thursday

CARY – Pedcor Investments has revised its initial plans for a proposed 60-unit apartment complex.

The plans are scheduled to presented Thursday at the village's Zoning, Planning and Appeals Board meeting. The Carmel, Indiana-based company wants to build a 60-unit workforce-housing apartment complex on 4.5 acres at First and Pearl streets.

The complex would have four two-story buildings, as well as a club house, pool, sand volleyball pit, picnic area, gazebo and playground for residents.

The buildings would have a mix of unit sizes, which would range from one to three bedrooms.

The previous preliminary designs had flat buildings, but the new design breaks up the facades. There are covered porches and patios that would extend beyond the building to break things up, said Director of Community and Economic Development Chris Stilling.

Even some of the sidewalks aren't at right angles.

"There are some nice design elements," Stilling said.

The board had asked for more pizzazz in the design during a conceptual discussion.

The buildings would use brick, stone, and high quality composite materials, with the appearance of wood, but last longer.

"From what we originally had seen .... it's much better," Stilling said. "It attempts to address a lot of the discussions we had at that meeting."

Stilling said the current estimate for the project is $18 million.

The village's comprehensive plan, which is being updated, said the site should be used for "light industrial" and is zoned for manufacturing use. In order for the project to move forward, the village would need to designate the site as multi-family residential.

The company also needs a conditional use permit to move forward, a variation allowing for more than six units on the ground floor, a variation allowing an increase in amount of gross density, and a variation allowing for a reduction in setbacks from the street.

Under the village's zoning ordinance, the maximum density allowed is nine units per acre. Pedcor is asking for 13.1 units per acre. The neighboring property, Oak Knoll Apartments has 18 units per acre.

Village code also restricts the maximum number of ground units to six units. Pedcor's plan has buildings with at least eight ground units. According to village documents, staff believes the spirit of the rule is for townhouses, to help break up the mass of buildings abutting a street.

Under village code, a 50-foot setback is required. However Pedcor is looking for a 40-foot setback along First Street, a 35-foot setback along Pearl Street.

Stilling pointed out that Oak Knoll Apartments have a 30 foot setback from First Street, and an existing house has a 20-25 foot setback from Pearl Street.

With the flood prone Sunset and Crest Drives nearby, village staff said it doesn't believe the project would add to the drainage problems seen at that intersection.

Stilling said the development is not within the drainage pattern that affects Sunset and Crest area.

The property would have 45 percent impervious coverage, which is less than it had when it was used as a manufacturing site, and had 80 percent impervious coverage, Stilling said.

Pedcor hopes to receive tax credits through the Illinois Housing and Development Program through the Low Income Tax Credit program.

To receive the federal tax credits, Pedcor would have to primarily serve residents who make 60 percent of the area median income or less.

Pedcor hopes to submit its application for tax credits in July.

While the village has gone through its comprehensive plan process, there has been a desire from residents for different housing options, said Village Administrator Chris Clark.

"In this market, in this economy, rental housing is what suburbs around the region have seen comeback," Clark said. "From a standpoint of it being a transit-oriented project, adjacent to our downtown, an open site that has been empty for a number of years. ... It seems to fit the theme that we've built from the comprehensive plan process."

To attend

What: Cary Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Village Hall, 655 Village Hall Drive

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