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Cary apartments up for a board vote

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 3:08 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014 11:02 p.m. CDT

CARY – A proposed 60-unit apartment complex has received the endorsement the business groups, while drawing objections from nearby residents.

Tuesday, the Cary Village Board is scheduled to vote on whether the proposed low-rise apartments on 4.5 acres of vacant land at First and Pearl streets can move forward.

Pedcor Investments, which is based in Carmel, Indiana, wants to build workforce housing apartment complex, but needs the village to approve a zoning change from manufacturing to multi-family to allow the project to move forward.

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

According to Pedcor, 87.8 percent of the people employed in the Cary live outside of town, and 57.7 percent of the workers earn less than $40,000 a year. The company wants to target people who have a moderate income, but can't afford the average-priced house in the area.

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

The project has received support from the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, the Cary-Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Aptar.

In a letter supporting the project, Aptar Human Resources Director Rob Revak said neighborhoods with expensive houses have been constructed across the county, including across the street from the company's Cary location.

"We are a manufacturing firm employing a large population of manufacturing employees and none of these employees could afford such huge and costly homes," Revak wrote. "To hear of an opportunity to have much more reasonably priced and decent housing built in Cary is a breath of fresh air and will be an excellent match to current and potential employees living and working in the community."

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

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

Pedcor has to keep rents in a certain range determined by the federal government based on the area median income.

However, there have been objections to the proposed project.

Resident Robert Dalton lives near the current Oak Knoll apartments, which is a neighboring complex to the proposed location. Dalton, in a letter to the village, said there is a need for affordable housing in the community, but it should be placed elsewhere.

He gave the example of Three Oaks Road near Aldi's for the development, and would not have a "negative" impact.

"[It] would be a great area and would be consistent with many of the other Pedcor projects including the one that they are finishing in Crystal Lake," Dalton wrote.

Residents also have concerns about the increased traffic on the adjacent streets of the proposed development and the possible need for adding additional turn lanes in the future.

"There is already a good amount of congestion and traffic safety issues caused by the existing apartments," wrote nearby resident Joel Neely, in a letter to village staff. "The residents of the existing apartments park on the street on both Second and Sunset, which turns both streets into single-lane roads when both sides of the road are full."

Pedcor does plan to provide 2.25 parking spaces per unit, which meets the requirements of the village.

According to a traffic analysis provided by Pedcor, if the parcel was used for manufacturing, which it is currently zoned for, there would be more traffic during peak hours, than what its residential development would generate.

The analysis concluded that an apartment development would not adversely affect traffic patterns.

In letters of opposition to the proposal there have been residents saying crime is a problem at the existing Oak Knoll complex, which is managed by a different company.

"There is already a good amount of drug activity at the existing apartments," Neely wrote. "As a neighbor, I see police at the apartments on a daily basis. ... Doubling the size of the apartment complex would give those who choose to use the complex as a drug distribution center even more space and even more potential buyers."

During the June 5 zoning board hearing Police Chief Patrick Finlon said there have been efforts by the police department and the new management of the complex to clean up issues and reduce the number of incidents at the complex.

"It's not the Cary Police Department necessarily on its own, but it's also a change of management at the Oak Knoll Apartments," Finlon said. "I would think that would be the primary issue when you're talking about the management of that area, is the individuals that are doing the screening, and holding people accountable within that development."

According to Pedcor documents, residents in its proposed complex would have to go through annual criminal background and sex offender checks, and there would be a zero tolerance drug policy.

The proposed development would have a mixture of one, two and three bedroom units. 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.

To attend

What: Cary Village Board

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Village Hall, 655 Village Hall Drive

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