Cary zoning board gives apartment proposal its blessing

Project now moves to village trustees for vote

CARY – In a 4-2 vote, the Cary Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals on Thursday gave its blessing for a proposed apartment complex at First and Pearl streets.

The proposal from Pedcor Investments to build a 60-unit workforce housing complex now moves to the Cary Village Board, which is scheduled to consider the petition on June 17.

In a meeting where many residents spoke out against the proposal, board members recommended the 4.5-acre property’s zoning be changed from manufacturing to multifamily residential.

Board Chairman Joseph Tournier said he thinks Pedcor is a good company and would manage the property well. However, he did not believe the project should be next to another apartment complex.

“If it was going in any location other than right next door to 5.5 acres with the same type of housing, I would say no problem,” Tournier said.

He added housing should be diverse in town, and affordable housing scattered.

“We’re putting all of our eggs in one place in the center of town,” Tournier said.

Commissioner Holly Kelps, who voted in favor of the project, said she visited another Pedcor property and said it was nicely managed and she received a lot of good feedback from those residents.

“I was amazed how nice the place looked,” Kelps said. “It’s better than having a blank space there.”

The complex would be for people who work as teachers, firefighters and police officers, as well as entry-level and service-sector workers, Pedcor has said.

The estimated cost of the project would be $18 million. Representatives from Pedcor said the property would generate more than $80,000 in property taxes a year.

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

The hearing on Thursday was the second meeting on the proposed project. So many people attended the first hearing that it had to be continued to a second night. Many residents who spoke against the project received applause from members of the audience.

Renee Mullaney said on Thursday she was not happy with the project.

“I don’t think this project would increase our property values, I think this project would bring them down,” Mullaney said.

She had concerns about whether there would be enough parking, even though the developers are following the village’s parking requirements. 

Resident Susan Gort said she listed the pros and cons of the proposal and found there would be more cons, such as noise pollution, air pollution, traffic and more children darting into the street.

Real estate agent John Trandel said the property would not be good for commercial use, and there is a need for more affordable rentals in town.

“We all love to see 40 luxury condos, but that market does not exist,” Trandel said.

John Pletz, who is a member of the Cary-Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, spoke in favor of the project.

“One of the things we need is affordable housing,” Pletz said. “[There are] a lot of people who work here, but cannot afford to live here.”

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