Parking remains a stumbling block for a developer seeking to build a mixed-use retail/condominium building in the central business district at 3704-08 Grand Blvd., but the plan otherwise met with the approval of Brookfield’s Zoning Board of Appeals last Thursday.
Meanwhile, at the same meeting, members of the Zoning Board unanimously voted against granting any of the variances sought for a townhome development at 3727 Sunnyside Ave., despite Plan Commission approval a week earlier.
The village’s Board of Trustees will have the final say on whether either of the projects will move forward.
The Grand Boulevard development, which calls for two retail spaces fronting Grand Boulevard, enclosed ground-floor parking for 13 vehicles and three floors of condos above, did not receive unanimous support from Zoning Board members.
Margaret Blasage, Michelle Wood and Charles Olson expressed concerns about the bulk, height and density the building would create. Meanwhile, all six members rejected a variation calling for one parking space per unit.
“I have a very big concern with the parking,” Wood said. “It gets really congested on Sunnyside, and I don’t know where people can go. The whole height thing also bothers me.”
Olson, Wood and Blasage all suggested the developer reduce the development by one story to reduce bulk and make parking less of a concern. But the developers, Bradley Beatty and Jack Mahler, said the project wouldn’t be economically viable as a three-story building.
“We’re only two-and-a-half feet over the zoning code, and we did that [to break up a flat roofline],” Mahler said. “Fewer units make it less viable.”
Mahler said he expected to market the two- and three-bedroom units for between $250,000 and $350,000.
Beatty explained that he had purchased the Grand Boulevard property in 2002, but had held off presenting a plan for redevelopment until the village’s master plan process was complete. The plan, he said “fits the needs of the community and the master plan.”
With regard to the kind of businesses that might occupy the first floor retail spaces on Grand Boulevard, Beatty said, “We’re looking for something that works with the walk-to-train pedestrian character of that block.”
Brookfield resident Jim Mann questioned the fact that the plans indicated balconies hanging over the public sidewalk along Grand Boulevard, and suggested they were dangerous.
“As far as pulling the balconies back, we can have a discussion about that with the village,” Mahler said.
Overall, however, Zoning Board members felt the project fit in with the spirit of the newly adopted master plan.
ZBA pans townhomes
With respect to a proposed townhome project for 3727 Sunnyside Avenue, just 200 feet south of the retail/condo development, Zoning Board members unanimously rejected the developer’s request for seven zoning variations.
The plan also generated critical comments from several residents, who said the six-townhome development was too ambitious for the site and would negatively impact neighboring properties.
Property owner Steven Campbell argued that the project fit in with the master plan, which specifically calls for high-density residential development along the 3700 block of Sunnyside Avenue.
“I believe this is in the village’s best interest,” Campbell said. “It is the desire of the community to create a more vital and dynamic Grand Boulevard … district.”
But Zoning Board members disagreed, voting 6-0 against all seven variation requests.
“To me, barracks-style townhomes are not attractive or viable for [an interpretation of] the master plan,” said Zoning Board Chairman Matthew Sinde. “Definitely this is the worst use for that lot right there. I am definitely against this.”