Monroe condo plan approved by City Council

condooverview

By BETH ALTENA

 

Rockford City Council deliberated before a packed meeting room on a proposed condominium project on Monday, February 9 before voting 4 to 1 to approve the 51-unit project on Monroe Street in the former Burch Body Works property. Contamination on the land was one of the compelling reasons council gave regarding their approval of the project.

The only no vote was councilwoman Tammy Bergstrom, who also voted against the project in January in her capacity as Rockford Planning Commission member. At that time she said she was a former 20-year resident of the street, and the concerns she heard regarding traffic and character of the neighborhood were the same concerns she would have as a resident.

Opponents of the project, mostly nearby neighbors, stated they believed traffic would become a concern on Monroe Street, especially given the volume of visitors to Pederson Funeral Home on one end and the Community Cabin on the other end. They also stated they felt the 51 units were too much for the size of the property. The proposed Planned Unit Development will be built on 4.5 of the entire 7.3 acre property because of wetlands.

Contamination from former manufacturing on the acreage was discussed, as well as the proximity to Rum Creek which borders the site on the north. As part of the deal, the City of Rockford will sell the developer a small parcel of land which will be dedicated to amenities and improvements on the former mill pond which serves as a skating pond in the winter.

The following information is available on the City of Rockford’s website and is part of the developer’s proposal for Tamarack Run Condominium’s application:

 

Describe the objectives of the PUD and how it relates to the Intent of the PUD District, as described in Section 13.1.

The intent of the City of Rockford Planned Unit Development District, as stated in Section 13.1 is to provide for flexibility in development, encourage innovation in land use and variety in design, layout and type of structure, to achieve efficiency in land, to encourage useful open space and create better environments. The proposed Tamarack Run PUD utilizes these provisions in providing new homesites in a compact and desirable setting close to amenities and the lifestyle offered by the City of Rockford. The proposed PUD contains 51 total units, equaling 6.9 units per acre on the approximately 7.32 acre parcel(s). This level of density is accomplished in a way that creatively and efficiently utilizes the location of the Burch Body Works site along Rum Creek, all while preserving 4.58 acres of open space, a total of 62.5% of the site. The proposed PUD also provides a walkable environment with an interconnected sidewalk network, walking trail and ease of pedestrian access to the downtown area. In addition, the PUD provides for environmental cleanup of existing contamination and protects and preserves existing wetlands.

Describe the relationship of the PUD to the City of Rockford General Development Plan.

The City of Rockford’s Subarea Plan, prepared in 2011, identifies the former Burch Body Works site as a focus of the study. Goals identified for this focus area include promoting redevelopment, optimizing land use, and preserving the character of existing neighborhoods. Not only will the proposed multi‐family development initiate redevelopment in a specific area identified by the City, but it optimizes the available land and fits the existing character of the neighborhood as some of the larger homes in the neighborhood have already been converted to multiple‐family units.

Describe the phases of development and approximate time frame for each phase.

It is anticipated that construction will commence in the summer of 2015 and the infrastructure will be completed by the summer of 2016. The homes will be constructed based on market demand.

Describe the proposed deed restrictions, covenants, or similar legal instruments to be used within the PUD.

The proposed PUD will be a condominium and therefore will be governed through a traditional master deed which will contain bylaws for the units, limited common elements and general common elements on the site. All owners will be subject to the bylaws of the master deed. Additionally, owners will all be part of the proposed home owners association (HOA). The HOA will be responsible for snowplowing, lawn care, landscape maintenance, exterior buildings maintenance, private road and driveway repairs and enforcement of the bylaws.

Describe the anticipated start and completion of construction.

It is anticipated that construction will commence in the summer of 2015 and the infrastructure will be completed by the summer of 2016. The homes will be constructed based on market demand.

Describe the location, type, and size of areas to be dedicated for common open space.

Dedicated, common open space is located throughout the PUD condominium. The proposed PUD contains approximately 7.32 acres of land and 4.58 acres have been set aside as permanently designated open space for a total of 62.5%.SECTION 13.11 STANDARDS FOR APPROVAL

A PUD shall be approved only if it complies with each of the following standards: Sec. 13.11(A)          The proposed PUD complies with all qualifying conditions of Section 13.2.

SECTION 13.2 QUALIFYING CONDITIONS

Sec. 13.2(A)

Sec. 13.2(B)

Sec. 13.2(C)

Sec. 13.2(D)

Sec. 13.2(E)

A two (2) acre minimum lot size shall be required for a PUD located on property currently zoned C1, C3, or C4.

The property is currently zoned R‐2 and is approximately 7.32 total acres.

All PUD‘s shall be served by public water and sanitary sewer facilities.

The proposed PUD will be served by public water and sanitary sewer located in North Monroe Street.

The tract of land for which a PUD application is received must be either in one ownership or the subject of an application filed jointly by the owners of all properties.

The properties included in the proposed PUD have been submitted under “single ownership” as the applicant’s legal interest in the property is an option to buy the subject parcels.

The proposed uses of the PUD must be consistent with the City of Rockford General Development Plan for the subject property.

The City of Rockford’s Subarea Plan, prepared in 2011, identifies the former Burch Body Works site as a focus of the study. Goals identified for this focus area include promoting redevelopment, optimizing land use, and preserving the character of existing neighborhoods. Not only will the proposed multi‐family development initiate redevelopment in a specific area identified by the City, but it optimizes the available land and fits the existing character of the neighborhood as some of the larger homes in the neighborhood have already been converted to multiple‐family units.

The PUD development shall contain open space in an amount equal to at least fifteen (15) percent of the total PUD site. Such open space shall not include required yards or buffers, parking areas, drives, rights-of-way, utility or road easements, storm water detention ponds, and structures. Such open space shall be permanently set aside for the sole benefit, use, and enjoyment of present and future occupants of the PUD through covenant, deed restriction, open space easement, or similar legal instrument acceptable to the City; or, if agreed to by the City Council, the open space may be conveyed to the City for the use of the general public.

The proposed PUD contains approximately 7.32 acres of land and 4.58 acres have been set aside as permanently designated open space. The 62.5% open space has been indicated and will be set aside as part of the proposed condominium master deed.

Sec. 13.11(B)

Sec. 13.11(C)

Sec. 13.11(D)

Sec. 13.11(E)

Sec. 13.11(F)

The uses to be conducted within the proposed PUD are consistent with the City’s Master Plan.

The City of Rockford’s Subarea Plan, prepared in 2011, identifies the former Burch Body Works site as a focus of the study. Goals identified for this focus area include promoting redevelopment, optimizing land use, and preserving the character of existing neighborhoods. Not only will the proposed multi‐family development initiate redevelopment in a specific area identified by the City, but it optimizes the available land and fits the existing character of the neighborhood as some of the larger homes in the neighborhood have already been converted to multiple‐family units.

The proposed PUD is compatible with surrounding uses of land, the natural environment, and the capacities of public services and facilities affected by the development.

The proposed PUD will not place a burden on the existing capacities of public services or other facilities for the City of Rockford. The level of development is able to be fully supported and compatible with the contour of Rum Creek and the existing character of the surrounding neighborhood. Tamarack Run is proposed as a solely residential PUD which is consistent with the neighboring residential areas and in full compatibility with the view of the creek and the park to the north.

The proposed PUD will not contain uses or conditions of use that would be injurious to the public health, safety, or welfare of the community.

The proposed PUD contains only residential uses which would not be injurious to the public health, safety or welfare of the community as it is a use allowed by right in at least one (1) of the zoning districts within the City of Rockford Zoning Ordinance as required by Section 13.3. Specifically, a residential use is allowed in the underlying R‐2 zoning district.

The proposed project is consistent with the spirit and intent of the PUD District, as described in Section 13.1 and represents a development opportunity for the community that could not be achieved through conventional zoning.

The proposed PUD utilizes the provisions granted by the intent of the City of Rockford’s Planned Unit Development district. The PUD district permits the relaxation of the conventional requirements found in the underlying R‐2 which allows a maximum density of five (5) units per acre. The proposed PUD contains 51 total units, equaling 6.9 units per acre on the approximately 7.32 acre parcel(s). This level of density is accomplished in a way that creatively and efficiently utilizes the location of the Burch Body Works site along Rum Creek, all while preserving 4.58 acres of open space, a total of 62.5% of the site.

The proposed PUD meets all the review standards of Section 15.1(G)(4).

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(a)

Traffic Circulation. The number, location, size of access and entry points, and internal vehicular and pedestrian circulation routes shall be designed to promote safe and efficient access to and from the site, and circulation within the site. In reviewing traffic features, the number, spacing, and alignment of existing and proposed access points shall be considered relative to their impact on traffic movement on abutting streets and adjacent properties.

The single proposed entrance onto North Monroe Street will meet local and county standards and will be subject to reviews and approval by all applicable agencies. Additionally, the site has been designed with a safe and efficient

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(b)

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(c)

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(d)

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(e)

internal drive meeting the standards set for in Section 15.3 of the City of Rockford Zoning Ordinance.

Stormwater. Stormwater detention and drainage systems shall be designed so that the removal of surface waters will not adversely affect neighboring properties or public stormwater drainage systems. Unless impractical, stormwater shall be removed from all roofs, canopies and paved areas by underground surface drainage system.

The proposed PUD has been designed with storm sewer throughout the site. All surface waters, including from roofs, canopies and paved areas, will not adversely affect neighboring properties and have been designed to be collected and distributed through catch basins and the proposed storm sewer to a storm water outlet near the existing Rum Creek. The storm water will be conveyed to a primary control structure which has been designed to remove sediments prior to discharging to the creek.

Landscaping. The landscape shall be preserved in its natural state, insofar as practicable, by minimizing unnecessary tree and soil removal, and any grade changes shall be in keeping with the general appearance of neighboring developed areas. Provision or preservation of landscaping, buffers, or greenbelts may be required to ensure that the proposed uses will be adequately buffered from one another and from surrounding property.

The proposed PUD plans to preserve the majority of the natural vegetation on the site. The natural vegetation serves to appropriately buffer the site since although a residential use, it is slightly denser than the surrounding area. In addition, the natural vegetation serves as the required greenbelt for the parking areas. Street trees have been provided along North Monroe Street for additional appeal to the street frontage.

Screening. Where commercial uses abut residential uses, appropriate screening consisting of attractively designed, opaque fencing or equivalent landscaping shall be provided so as to shield residential properties from noise, headlights and glare.

Although the PUD is entirely residential and within an entirely residential area, the proposed density is slightly greater than the immediately adjacent parcels. The majority of the site is buffered with existing vegetation, however, the approximately 312 foot southern property line closest to North Monroe Street will be formally buffered and screened since the existing vegetation will be removed. The 312 foot property line will contain seven (7) trees, four (4) canopy and three (3) evergreen, 32 shrubs and fencing satisfying the requirements of Buffer Zone C and Screening per Section 15.2(D)(3) and Section 15.2(E) and (F).

Lighting. Lighting shall be designed so as to minimize glare on adjacent properties and public streets. As a condition of site plan approval, reduction of lighting during non-business hours may be required.

The proposed PUD has been designed to include lighting that will be shielded from all adjacent properties. Proposed lighting shall consist of wall‐mounted

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(f) Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(g)

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(h)

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(i)

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(j)

Sec. 15.1(G)(4)(k)

lights and light poles, both fitted with shoebox type fixtures. All lighting will conform to Section 13A.7 of the City of Rockford Zoning Ordinance.

Utility Service. All utility service shall be underground, unless impractical.

All public and private utility services within the proposed PUD will be buried.

Exterior Uses. Exposed storage areas, machinery, heating and cooling units, service areas, loading areas, utility buildings and structures, and similar accessory areas shall be located so as to have a minimum negative effect on adjacent properties, and shall be screened if reasonably necessary to ensure compatibility with surrounding properties.

The proposed PUD does not contain any exposed storage areas, machinery, heating and cooling units, service areas, loading areas, utility buildings and structures or other exterior accessory uses or areas.

Emergency Access. All buildings and structures shall be readily accessible to emergency vehicles.

The proposed PUD has been designed with a safe and efficient internal drive meeting the standards set for in Section 15.3 of the City of Rockford Zoning Ordinance. All buildings and structures are readily accessible to emergency vehicles and will be subject to review by all applicable agencies.

Water and Sewer. Water and sewer installations shall comply with all City specifications and requirements.

Watermain, sanitary sewer and storm sewer are all proposed to be installed throughout the proposed PUD connecting to existing utilities in North Monroe Street. All installations shall comply with the City of Rockford specifications and requirements and the engineered plans will be subject to review.

Signs. Permitted signs shall be so located to avoid the creation of distraction and visual clutter.

Any signage for the proposed PUD shall meet the requirements of Section 15.4 of the City of Rockford Zoning Ordinance.

Building Design. New or substantially remodeled buildings shall be reasonably compatible in appearance with, or shall enhance, the established general character of other buildings in the immediate vicinity.

The proposed structures within the PUD, including flats, ranch units and townhomes, will not only be compatible with the existing character of the area, but will especially enhance the appearance of the area along the frontage of North Monroe Street.