A proposal for six townhomes at 3727 Sunnyside Ave. will be scrutinized by two Brookfield commissions this month.
On Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m., the owner of the property, Steven Campbell, will appear before the Brookfield Plan Commission to ask that a special use be granted for the townhome development, which is slated for the C-3 district. In addition, Campbell will ask the Plan Commission to allow for residential use at grade level.
As the C-3 code is written, townhomes are considered an allowable special use. At the same time, however, the code calls for a first-floor commercial use in the district.
Then on Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m., the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals will hear Campbell’s request for several zoning variations for the townhomes, including ones regarding density and setback requirements.
Strictly applying the zoning requirements for the site, just four townhomes would qualify for the site. Campbell is also asking for a front setback of 8 feet versus the code’s 15-foot requirement, and a side yard setback of just under 5 feet as opposed to the 10 feet required by the code.
Campbell purchased the roughly 8,300-square-foot Sunnyside Avenue property in December 2004 for $105,000. The frame building that sits at the rear of the lot, served variously as a poultry supply business back in the 1920s and later as a single-family residence.
In January, Campbell announced his plan to build six townhomes and a two-car garage on the lot. The front of the townhomes would face north, while garages for the units would be accessed off the public alley, which borders the south property line.
Each of the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath units is planned to be three stories tall, with a grade level two-car garage. Preliminary plans show the Colonial-style development to have a brick exterior.
“I don’t see the outlying area to be good for anything but high-density residential,” Campbell said. “There’s no chance for commercial on the backside of the Grand Boulevard district.”
The village’s Master Plan 2020 document, which won approval of the village’s Plan Commission in January, envisions the Grand Boulevard District as a mixture of commercial and high-density residential uses.
In drawings contained in the master plan, the site of the proposed townhomes, for example, appears to show some sort of condominium building. It also envisions consolidation of Campbell’s parcel and two parcels to the north in order to provide green space to balance the new building.
While Campbell said that the master plan’s vision is certainly possible, it isn’t likely. While he paid $105,000 for his property, he estimated the other two lots would cost a buyer anywhere from $600,000 to $800,000.
“In order for that to happen, you’d have to wait for people to want to sell,” Campbell said. “When you factor in [the additional cost], it doesn’t become economical to do that, unless you build a condominium building.
“So, we can wait for that grand, magic moment in time, but in the meantime, nothing happens,” he added.
The Plan Commission has granted a special use permit for townhomes and has waived the first-floor commercial requirement in the past for a townhome project in the C-3 district.
In June 2003, the Plan Commission agreed to grant the requests for an eight-unit townhome development planned for 3700 Prairie Ave. The Zoning Board of Appeals in July of that year also granted bulk and setback variations for the plan, which was ultimately denied by the village board.