Bourbonnais ends apartment ban

May 21, 2019

BOURBONNAIS — The village is ready to loosen its grip on multifamily housing developments as it prepares to grow with more high-end living arrangements.

Village trustees on Monday agreed to modify a 19-year-old moratorium that has prohibited the development of multifamily housing.

The village enacted the prohibition in 2000, when the village’s multifamily housing rate was at 34 percent. In contrast, neighboring Chicago suburbs averaged between 15 to 25 percent, with Bradley at 18 percent at the time.

Village officials at the time feared the multifamily housing situation could negatively impact future development because of more traffic congestion, sewer usage and blighted apartments.

Because of the moratorium, the village’s multifamily housing rate now is 16 percent.

“It was the best thing we ever did,” Mayor Paul Schore said during Monday’s meeting. “Multifamily housing was getting out of control. I was wondering when the day would come when we would start for all that [development] to happen again.”

Under the revisions, Bourbonnais now is in the market for high-end living facilities that cover at least 4.5 acres; have unique features, such as pools or health clubs; and full-time, onsite management under one owner.

The village ultimately would have to approve all the plans and projects.

The changes come with a potential multifamily housing project on the horizon. There will be a 28-unit Cobblestone subdivision on Bourbonnais Parkway around the corner from a future Gas ’N Wash at the intersection of Bourbonnais Parkway and U.S. Route 45/52.

In addition to the Cobblestone subdivision, developers are looking into building an apartment complex south of the Gas ’N Wash on U.S. Route 45/52. Schore said that is why the village decided to alter the longstanding moratorium.

“It is easier to prepare for the housing stock that we currently don’t have — higher-end rental that millennials and others are looking for,” he said. “I know we have an influx of people coming into CSL [Behring] that are looking for housing options.

“Maybe they are not ready to buy a house yet and are looking to rent something on the higher end. There’s a market for that. We are pretty excited about that.”

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