225 Longcommon Road, Riverside

Riverside village trustees won’t consider a request to subdivide a historic property on Longcommon Road at its meeting on Sept. 17 after questions surfaced regarding the actual size of the property under consideration.

In his application seeking to divide the property at 225 Longcommon Road in order to create another buildable lot, Riverside resident Daniel Jisa included a plat of survey indicating that his property covered 32,550 square feet, or roughly three-quarters of an acre.

Jisa hopes to divide the land into one 21,017-square-foot parcel, which contains his 1895 home, a local landmark, and an 11,533-square-foot parcel to the north. The newly created parcel would be large enough to accommodate another home.

 However on Sept. 2, Riverside Township Assessor Fran Sitkiewicz sent a letter to Riverside’s community development director, Sonya Abt, casting doubt on Jisa’s plat of survey.

According to Sitkiewicz, existing records indicate that Jisa’s property, which comprises two separate parcels, is about 14 percent smaller than his application indicates.

“Based on information I have available in my office, I believe the two parcels … to be about 28,572 square feet,” Sitkiewicz wrote. “This is based on information the Cook County Assessor’s Office has on file and the Sidwell maps I use in my office.”

Sidwell maps are county tax maps that show how property has been divided, subdivided and/or consolidated. They are updated every year.

According to the Cook County Assessor’s website, the two parcels comprising 225 Longcommon Road are 28,566 square feet.

It’s unclear why there is such a discrepancy between Jisa’s plat, which was completed by a surveying company prior to the subdivision application being submitted, and the county’s information.

Riverside Village Manager Jessica Frances said it was an unusual situation.

“It’s something we’ve never had occur before with such a disparity,” Frances said.

She and Abt have reached out to the surveying company to have them double check their measurements. As of 3:45 p.m. on Friday, there was no word from the company on whether it found any errors.

If the surveying company stands by its survey, village officials will then need to determine whether to have their own survey done to see why the numbers differ so greatly.

It’s unclear whether a change in the square footage of the property would affect the owner’s ability to subdivide it to create another buildable lot. The property is part of the village’s R-1AA zoning district, which means lots must be at least 10,500 square feet to be considered buildable.

However, there are also setback rules in the zoning code that might affect the ability for another house to be constructed on a newly created lot.

Because the historic home at 225 Longcommon Road sits on a lot originally platted when the village was laid out in 1869, there has been vehement opposition to subdividing the land.

Riverside’s historic preservation ordinance, which is part of the village code, expressly discourages such subdivisions, although it could be argued that the village’s subdivision code appears to allow it.

The village’s Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended against the subdivision application. The Riverside Village Board, which has the final say over such matters, is now slated to take up the application request at its Oct. 1 meeting at 7 p.m. in Riverside Township Hall.