A Rolling Meadows panel issued mostly negative recommendations Wednesday on plans to build 115 townhouses on a portion of the former Dominick's site in the downtown.
The planning and zoning commission voted 7-1 against plans to rezone the rear 9 acres of the 11-acre site at 2819-2915 Kirchoff Road from commercial to residential. The rezoning, which will also be considered by the city council, would allow developer Ryan Homes to move forward with plans to construct three-story rowhomes with three bedrooms and built-in garages, priced starting at $300,000.
Called Meadow Square, the homes would be available only for sale, not for rent, said Andrew Mouw of Ryan Homes.
While the homebuilder has the southern part of the property under contract, owner Clark Street Development would retain a 1.4-acre front portion along Kirchoff for potential commercial use.
In between the front and back developments would be a stormwater retention area.
The panel also voted 7-1 Wednesday against a plan to subdivide the front commercial portion of property. Most commissioners said they wanted those lots to be bigger, with an eye toward having room for a larger restaurant.
Commissioners did issue a 4-4 neutral recommendation on whether to grant preliminary approval of a planned development, with some saying they liked Ryan Homes' plan in concept but others saying it's too dense.
"I feel there's not community support for this project," said Tom Rataiczyk, who voted "no" on all three items. "The project was designed for maximum profitability and not necessarily with an eye toward the community plan."
Residents who attended the meeting Wednesday night in the crowded city hall council chambers spoke out against plans for a residential use on the property, which once housed the 130,000-square-foot Dominick's store and adjoining small shops.
Much of the site has been vacant since 2004, while other redevelopment proposals -- from other townhouses and apartments to a senior housing community -- have fallen through or been rejected.
Craig Carlson, owner of Comet Frozen Custard across the street from the Dominick's site, hoped the property remained zoned for retail.
"This is a strategic decision you're going to make, with permanent implications," he said. "Once those homes are built, they can never be taken away."
The commission's hearing Wednesday was just the first step, since the seven-member city council has final say. In September, most aldermen gave favorable reviews to a similar proposal for 120 townhouses in an early 4-1 straw poll vote, signaling to Ryan Homes to submit formal plans to the city. Two other aldermen have said they're undecided.
The council could take up the issue as soon as Jan. 23.