Plan Commission Recommends Approval of Five-story Apartment Building
Green features garner support for apartment project from Alderman and neighborhood.
Dominion Properties LLC’s request for a change in zoning for the property at 1509 N. Jackson St. was recommended for approval at the July 9th, 2012 meeting of the City Plan Commission. The change is needed to allow Dominion to construct a five-story apartment building with 20 apartment units. The residential units would consist of one studio, seven one-bedrooms, and 12 two-bedroom apartments. The designs have been updated to alleviate neighborhood concerns over the lack of parking. The new design allows for 30 stalls, instead of the originally reported 26.
The building will utilize energy efficient technology throughout the building, as well as locally sourced materials. It will be built of steel and concrete which will help it achieve a R-40 insulation value (larger the number the better). Geothermal systems and solar panels are also envisioned for the development. Emphasizing just how efficient the building will be, project designer Joel Agacki stated it “would be one of the most sustainable multi-family buildings in the city.”
During the commission meeting multiple neighbors came to speak in support of the project, while only one spoke in opposition. Andrew Graber, the property owner to the north of 1509 N. Jackson St., explained how the new building will add security to the neighborhood saying, “more importantly there will be more sets of eyes,” and in regards to the entire project he added “overall though I think it is a very good thing.” Also speaking in favor of the project’s density Mark Stephen stated, “I’m all about it.” One resident while speaking in opposition referenced two other recently approved multi-family developments in the neighborhood and explained that “had this one been first I would have supported it.”
Representing the district, Ald. Kovac offered mild support of the project. Kovac explained that at a recent community meeting the neighborhood was more opposed to the project, but that “I still thought it was a close call.” In the end, Kovac offered his support under the condition that the developer would make a commitment to include all of the green features, including the geothermal and solar components.
The commission voted for conditional approval of the change in zoning, but included a couple of criteria. Most significantly, the green features discussed are to be included in the project. This request for a change in zoning will now go before the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee.