The developer proposing to construct a 14-unit apartment building at 8845 Burlington Ave. in downtown Brookfield may still have a little work to do in getting village trustees to approve the plan after at least two elected officials criticized what they considered a lack of onsite parking.
The village board is expected to give the project, which requires a zoning variance for the building type, an up-or-down vote at their next meeting on July 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
In the meantime, the developer and his consultants have said they will provide village officials with data from other similar, suburban transit-oriented developments that prove it’s not necessary to provide at least one vehicle parking space per unit.
The proposed 14-unit development comes with 13 onsite spaces along with 27 long-term bicycle parking spaces. The developer used a provision in the zoning code, which allows one vehicle parking space credit per six bicycle parking spaces, to arrive at 13 spaces. The zoning code calls for developments to have 1.5 vehicle parking spaces per unit, meaning the one at 8845 Burlington Ave. would have needed 17.5 spaces.
By taking advantage of the bicycle space parking credit provision of the code, the developer is able to avoid seeking a zoning variation for parking. But, that didn’t sit well with trustees Brian Conroy and Edward Cote, who insisted there wasn’t enough onsite parking provided.
“I understand your compliance with the letter of the law. I disagree that you’re in compliance with the spirit of the law,” Conroy told Mike Mallon, the land use planning consultant hired by developer Jason Huang, who owns the property at 8845 Burlington Ave. and, according to Mallon, intends to maintain ownership after the building is constructed. “I have a hard time going below one [parking space] per unit.”
Cote, meanwhile, said that while he appreciated the developer’s investment in the village and praised the building design by architect Mario Cruz, providing less than one onsite parking space per unit was problematic.
“Having an apartment in Brookfield and having an apartment in [Chicago’s] Lake View [neighborhood] are two different things,” Cote said. “I find it hard to believe that we would have that many people moving into this complex without any kind of vehicle.”
Mallon, however, insisted that providing less than one space per unit – some transit-oriented developments provide a half space per unit, he said – was adequate for these types of developments.
“This is a different customer that we’re going after,” Mallon said, encouraging trustees not to look at the development through the eyes of a single-family homeowner. “I’m telling you that the customer that we are going after, which is a millennial, somebody that is probably working in the Loop … they’re saying, ‘I don’t need a car. I don’t want a car.’”
Mallon told trustees that before the July 26 vote, he would provide examples of other projects that are successful despite providing fewer parking spaces.
“We’re not about to go ahead and build a project that’s not going to work,” Mallon said.