Thursday, August 17, 2006

Green Bay Reprieve

Wilmette Village trustees on a 5-2 vote, confirming the Plan Commission's decision, have rejected the 5-story development on Green Bay Rd, familiarly known to some as Godzilla on Green Bay.

One of the trustees didn't believe the numbers. Wilmette Life:
Trustee James Griffith, who also voted against the plans, said, "Five stories is totally unacceptable to me." He said he doubted a village-commissioned financial consultant's report that found nothing short of a five-story building would pay off for a builder, because Ehlers and Associates had used the developers' own data.

"I think we are entitled to something more than a chewing-over of somebody else's figures," he said.

Griffith noted that Optima Inc. had built a three-story condo/retail building at Waukegan and Glenview Roads in downtown Glenview.

"I don't believe this at all," he said of the claim that four stories wouldn't work. "Look at our neighboring communities, Glencoe, Glenview, Winnetka. I don't see anything over four stories."

Neighboring local businesses were also opposed:
The owners of the bicycle shop to the south of the project and the antique store to the north have both maintained in writing that they're not ready to sell. Trying to get them to join in the project has been "a bit like herding squirrels," said the developers' attorney, Bruce Huvard.

"It has to go to the full block to get the benefits, in my mind," Trustee Alan Swanson said. "I know that I'm putting this in a tough way, but who's responsible for a full block deal? If we want the height, we almost have to have the full block."

The developers had wanted the entire block. Though they could have been more neighborly in their language, at least they had the grace not to threaten eminent domain, something that at least one trustee still seems to be entertaining.

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