The owner of a mixed-use building at 400 Ashland Ave. in River Forest will be allowed to convert one of the building’s offices into a studio apartment once he secures additional parking following action by village trustees at their Dec. 13 meeting.

Trustees voted unanimously to concur with the recommendation of the Development Review Board and approve the planned development permit for the property.

John Schiess, an architect representing building owner Viktor Jakovljevic, explained that the building was all commercial until 2013 when an office was converted to a one-bedroom apartment.

Under the planned development permit approved at that time, the owners agreed to provide five onsite parking spaces and two offsite parking spaces.

The plan by Jakovljevic, who purchased the building in 2013, to convert another office into a studio apartment required him to go through the planned development process, which began in February. Converting the office into an apartment increased the need for parking by one space.

Complicating matters, it was determined during the process that the license agreement for the two offsite parking spaces no longer exists. Jakovljevic has subsequently rented two spaces but is on a waiting list for the third.

Lisa Scheiner, assistant village administrator, acknowledged that parking is “tight” in that area and said village officials are trying to work with Jakovljevic to locate a third space within 200 feet of the building.

As an added incentive, under the planned development permit, the resulting studio apartment would meet affordable housing criteria and Jakovljevic agreed he would continue that use for 10 years.

During discussion Dec. 13, Jakovljevic agreed to a suggestion by Trustee Katie Brennan to extend the period to 30 years, helping the village reach a state-required goal of 10 percent affordable housing units.

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