I attended the Plan Commission hearing regarding a zoning map amendment to reclassify the properties located at 327-329 Home Avenue. In the beginning of the meeting, a commission member, Mr. Gallagher, stated that he was a friend of the developer, Mr. Collins. Not only were they friends but Mr. Collins was his employer and his boss. Mr. Gallagher was allowed to vote on this important matter when he should have recused himself.

The change requested is from an R5 to an R6. R5 allows for a single home or a two flat. R6 will allow for 16 units. There are already four units on the lots; therefore 12 can be built. The developer has stated that only four units will be built, but no conditions can be placed on granting a zoning change. If a change were to be granted, the developer would be within his rights to change his proposal and build the 12 units. The proposed property is not quite a full lot and is simply too small to cram 12 units on the property. His existing plan is too large for the lot. The proposal is for a 20-foot setback, then the new units. In the back of the lot is an existing four-car garage. In between the new units and the old garage, a new three-car garage will be built. There will be little green space left on the lot.

The proposed change is located within the boundaries of the historic district. I am concerned that, if granted, this change will set a precedent. Changing the existing zoning will signal open opportunity that zoning changes will be made for other neighborhoods. Developers will assume they can buy properties no matter the zoned use and expect that their requests for changes will be granted.

Is this our vision for the future: Build as many units on a lot as possible no matter the neighborhood, eliminate most green space, and change the look of our historic architectural heritage?

I respectfully ask that the village board reject this change and vote No!

Elizabeth O’Brien
Oak Park

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