With its new Caledonian House memory care facility completed, the Scottish Home in North Riverside is also about to increase the size of its parking lot.
On Sept. 6, the North Riverside Village Board gave the go ahead for its attorney to draw up an ordinance approving a change to the organization’s 1995 conditional use permit. The change was recommended unanimously during a joint meeting of the North Riverside Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals in August.
The village board is expected to vote to approve the ordinance at its meeting on Sept. 19.
Scottish Home officials want to expand the campus’ parking lot by paving over a 5,100-square-foot section in the southwest corner of the property. The now grassy area is used for overflow parking during events at the Scottish Home.
With the arrival of the Caledonian House and a more active community outreach program, officials saw a greater need for parking. The newly paved area will add about 10 more spaces.
“It’s not an area that’s practical for use for much else,” said Gus Noble, president of Chicago Scots/Illinois St. Andrew Society, which has operated the Scottish Home at 2800 Desplaines Ave. in North Riverside since 1910. “What we’re trying to do is minimize the amount of traffic that ends up driving to the north.”
The “north” part of the campus, where parking for the Caledonian House is located, is closest to residences that line 27th Street. Additional construction and traffic into the Scottish Home has been a periodic concern for residents of 27th Street.
As part of the village’s approval of the Caledonian House, the Scottish Home had to agree to provide screening so that headlights from cars using the parking lot at the new facility did not shine into their windows.
Although the new parking are is at the southern border of the property, the Scottish Home will also be required to provide screening (using landscaping) at the northwest corner of the property.
Three residents of 27th Street appeared at the August plan commission/zoning board hearing to express concerns.
“The neighbors to the north explained that regardless of where a car ends up driving to, the fact that it makes a turn means lights will shine into properties directly north of it,” Nobles said. “We’ve already put up some screening [for the Caledonian House construction], but we want to do what’s right.”
Noble said there’s no construction timeline yet for the parking lot, but that the Scottish Home hoped it could be completed this fall.