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Plainfield hears plans for new Vista Pointe subdivision

Brock A. Stein | 1/13/2015, 12:51 p.m.
The revised concept for the site near Walker and Ridge roads calls for 214 single-family homes and 271 town homes.
Vista Pointe South subdivision, near Walker and Ridge roads, would have 214 single-family homes and 271 town homes developers told the Plainfield Village Board Monday night. Brock A. Stein

Plainfield trustees Monday night heard revised preliminary details for a planned 114-acre development south of Walker Road and east of Ridge Road.

The original concept for the Vista Pointe South subdivision had included plans for 216 duplex units sitting on 12,000-square-foot lots. In addition, the original 2005 plan called for 299 town homes.

Developer TMJ Investments has reconfigured the concept, replacing the duplex units with 214 single-family homes and reducing the number of town homes to 271.

As a result of the switch, the developer is proposing a reduction in lot sizes to just under 7,000 square feet, a size that several board members said they believed was too small.

The village can afford to be more selective about the projects it approves because of its financial outlook has improved, Trustee Jim Racich said.

“We can be very particular as to what we will select” because the recession has forced the village to be less reliant on builder impact fees, he said.

The goal is to prevent a proliferation of homes that all look the same with garage doors that take up over half of the front façade, a look that is prevalent in subdivisions along the Plainfield and Joliet border, known colloquially as “Jofield.”

“I expect to see something that is really dynamic,” he said.

Trustee Paul Fay said that he thought a minimum lot size should be at least 8,000 square feet. He recalled that during a drought two years ago a home that caught fire threatened to damage a neighboring property because it was built too closely. Side yards should be more than the 7-foot size called for in the original plan, he said.

Some aspects of the original plan will remain in place, including a five-acre park and a large parcel of land to the east that could be used for the expansion site for a future middle or elementary school for Plainfield School District 202.

In other business, the village heard details about the proposed 2015-16 streets department budget, which includes a 1.8 percent increase in spending.

As the Emerald Ash Borer beetle continues to decimate ash trees throughout the village, the department has had to allocate more of its budget for tree removal and replacement. Public Works Director Allen Persons said the village has found ways to save by contracting outside contractors for removal of large trees that require specialized equipment.

Outside contractors removed about 250 trees in 2014, with village staff removing another 650. Persons said ash tree removal in the village is at the half way point.

The village has also been able to squeeze more savings from its snow removal operation by hiring outside contractors to clear about half of the village’s 400 lane miles of roadway.

Heavier than anticipated snowfall in 2014 strained the village’s snow removal budget last year in addition to an unanticipated scarcity of road salt. Director of Financial Services Traci Pleckham said the village’s contracted snow removal bill last year was more than $350,000 while the two previous years were less than $100,000.