What Is City’s Next Step To Plan Affordable Housing? – Journal & Topics Media Group


Park Ridge City Hall

In a follow-up discussion Monday, May 16, the Park Ridge City Council had visitors from a team of experts from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus who are helping municipalities to analyze ways to comply with the state’s recently amended Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act.

Park Ridge is hoping to get help from MMC to get suggestions on how other municipalities have developed plans tailored to their particular communities. While there is a goal of providing at least 10 percent of local dwelling options to count as “affordable” for low or moderate income individuals or families, one size does not fit every municipality, the speakers reminded the council.

Kyle Smith, director of Housing and Community Development Initiatives with MMC, brought a team of consultants to explain how they help each municipality to assemble data on their housing stock, and to brainstorm things that are workable there.

Nancy Firfer, a senior MMC advisor, was mayor of Glenview when the Glenview Naval Air Station closed. It fell to her administration to figure out how to use the vacated land, and they encouraged affordable housing for senior citizens, she said.

Long-time residents may be ready for smaller homes or apartments. Families may have moved or downsized, or consolidated generations. But the experts also heard of a zoning appeal where owners of an older home on a much older lot, were requesting variances to expand their building which dates to a different era of housing setbacks. When houses are expanded they are not generally more affordable.

Enrique Castillo, a senior planner from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, is also working with the team.

It was pointed out by the speakers that Park Ridge has a unique situation north of Maine East High School and Dempster Street: blocks of complexes of inexpensive apartment complexes  which are frequently an entry point for families on limited incomes. Most of that area is unincorporated Maine Township and not in the Park Ridge city limits.

Over the early summer, Park Ridge planners will start talking about their current data and how they would like to proceed with MMC’s team. The final numbers they will need to work with to comply for the revised state law will not be generated until 2023, so complying with the 10 percent minimum will probably be in 2024.

Community Preservation and Development Director Drew Awsumb and City Manager Joe Gilmore plan to bring more information to aldermen over the summer and have a timeline for local discussions. City leaders will also be reviewing the city’s strategic plan. Ideas will be referred to the Planning & Zoning Commission as its members resume work on reviving the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

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via Journal & Topics Media Group – Journal & Topics Media Group | Serving Chicago’s Great Northwest Suburbs

May 19, 2022 at 07:01AM

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