Plan Commission: Site wrong for retirement community

By on January 9, 2009

by Martha Quetsch

Elburn Planning Commissioners agreed on Tuesday that the village needs senior housing, but say the location of a proposed retirement community is not suitable.

The site for the Elburn Prairie senior development is directly west of Hughes Creek Golf Club and east of Route 47, between Kenmar Drive and Hughes Road. The complex is designed for people to be able to live there from their 50s through the rest of their lives, providing a continuum of care.

“Overall, I love the idea. But I am concerned that it is not within walkable distance of anything,” commissioner Paul Molitor said.

Commissioner Ken Anderson said a better location for a senior development is one closer to the community of Elburn.

“That would be a better fit,” Molitor said.

He also said the development’s density is too high for the area.

“South of Hughes Road, there are no (residential) parcels smaller than a half acre,” Molitor said.

Planning Commission Chairman Pat Schuberg said she does not like the size of the multi-story buildings that dominate the project.

“I have a tough time seeing this project in this spot,” Shuberg said.

The property owner is a physician, Alekzander Jakubowski, who first proposed the development in July. Since then, Jakubowski changed the plan in response to various concerns expressed by village trustees.

Changes included reducing the height of two proposed buildings from five to four stories; introducing open areas on the north side of the property for landscape buffering along Huges Road; and eliminating cul-de-sacs.

Jakubowski’s conceptual plan includes a 300-unit, three-story enhanced care center; a four-story independent living building; a four-story assisted living facility; 18 single-family units; a 250-unit, three-story memory and skilled-care structure; a community center; 28 condominiums; a bike/pedestrian path; a putting green; and a two-story, 40,000-square-foot commercial building that the developer said would be used for medical offices.

Developer representative Emo Furfori said Wednesday that he and other project planners will meet soon to “regroup” and confer with Jakubowski, who is undecided about whether he wants to continue pursuing village approval of the plan.

If they decide to push forward with the project, their only recourse would be to propose a lower density, said Furfori, a land planner for the project designer Schoppe Design Associates, Inc.