By Bob Uphues
Three property owners will appear before the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission next week, asking that their parcels be rezoned to more accurately reflect their existing uses and allow them more flexibility in the future.
The cases will be heard on April 25 at 7 p.m. in the council chamber of the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave. Commissioners will hear from the applicants and staff, field sworn testimony from the general public and make recommendations to the village board, which will have the final say.
"As these cases come up, I'm recommending going through the rezoning process," said Village Planner Elyse Vukelich. "If we can more accurately reflect what's out there, we should do that. To me, they're logical changes."
The cases to be heard on April 25 include a request by property owner Tony Griget to rezone the pie-shaped property at 3100 Grand Blvd. from C-5 Restricted Local Retail to C-4 Local Retail District.
The others are a request by Judy Harvin, the owner of Focus Om Studio, to rezone the building she owns at 9037-49 Monroe Ave. from A-1 Single-Family Residential to C-3 Centralized Commercial District and a request by John Chapple and Diane Viverito to rezone the building at 3650 Grand Blvd. from A-1 Single-Family residential to SA 4a General Mix.
3100 Grand Blvd.
Griget purchased 3100 Grand Blvd., at the corner of Grand Boulevard, Kemman Avenue and 31st Street, in 2015 and, until recently, operated his insurance business from the location. He relocated his Allstate insurance office to the 3700 block of Grand Blvd. earlier this year
The C-5 district includes just four total parcels and essentially affects only his property. He wants to rezone the property to C-4, which is the zoning designation of several properties that line 31st Street from Sunnyside Avenue to Arthur Avenue.
The C-4 district allows many more types of retail uses than the severely restricted C-5 district. Right now, for example, uses that would not be allowed at 3100 Grand Blvd. include eating and drinking establishments, financial services businesses and medical/dental offices.
Griget said he has a tentative deal to bring a dental office to the property, but it hinges on rezoning.
"It's time we make this change for the betterment of the community," Griget said.
The property is flanked to the east and south by properties zoned B Multiple-Family Residential District. The village of LaGrange Park borders the property to the west and north.
9037-49 Monroe Ave.
Focus Yoga LLC acquired the one-story commercial property at 9037-49 Monroe Ave. in 2007; the property is now owned by Harvin Group LLC. Judith Harvin operated Focus Yoga at the location for several years before selling the business to the current owners, who renamed the studio FocusOm. That business occupies three of seven commercial spaces in the building, Harvin said, while the remaining office spaces are leased to others.
Harvin, who has the property for sale, told the Landmark that none of the businesses occupying the building plan to move once a sale is completed. The commercial building is classified as legal non-conforming, however, because it sits within a single-family residential zoning district. Harvin hopes to rezone the building to reflect its actual use as a commercial property. The parcel is just across the street from the C-3 commercial zoning district, a classification the owner seeks to obtain.
The village board is in the process of determining just what commercial uses ought to be allowed in the C-3 district, but that discussion hasn't played a role in Harvin's desire to rezone the property.
"We're taking this as the first step and are trying to resolve this issue, which is an important one" before dealing with any use limitations imposed by the village, Harvin said.
As for the village, Vukelich said the rezoning request in this instance makes sense.
"We don't have an objection to it being a commercial property, because that's what it has been" since it was built in the 1920s, Vukelich said.
3650 Grand Blvd.
John Chapple and Diane Viverito purchased the unique mixed-use building at 3650 Grand Blvd. in June 2018, and have started to rehab the structure.
Although it looks like it might be a multifamily residential building, it's actually a two-unit which housed a family medical practice on the first floor and a large three-bedroom apartment on the second.
The building, like the one on Monroe Avenue, is legal non-conforming since it sits within the A-1 Single Family district. The owners wish to rezone the property to SA 4a, a mixed-use classification created two years ago with the passage of the village's Zoning Modernization Ordinance, which created the Station Area zoning districts and set detailed guidelines for building types, uses and parking, among other things.
The SA 4a zoning district comprises roughly the northern half of the 3700 block of Grand Boulevard, including Brennan Massage and Spa just across Grant Avenue from 3650 Grand Blvd.
According to the zoning amendment application filed with the village, the owners intend to use the first floor for as an office for themselves and rent out the remainder for studio/instructional service use, such a yoga or Pilates studio. The second floor would continue to be rented out as an apartment.