Despite rumors of development for years, the Roppolo residential subdivision in unincorporated Elk Grove Township has been left unscathed amid the growing commercial and industrial uses that surround it.
But now nearly two dozen homeowners have agreed to offers from a developer who wants to build a light industrial building on the south side of the neighborhood and is seeking annexation into Elk Grove Village.
In the first formal review of plans for a one-story, 188,400-square-foot trucking warehouse that would be built on 10 acres north of Landmeier Road, the village's plan commission voted 7-0 Monday to recommend an industrial rezoning and a variation for building heights up to 42 feet. The project now goes to the village board, which will have its first review Aug. 13, though subsequent hearings to consider the annexation, rezoning and variation will likely be in September or October.
Logistics Property Co. has 21 houses -- many on half-acre lots -- under contract, while there are verbal agreements for two houses at the corner of Landmeier Road and Roppolo Avenue, according to Aaron Martell, the firm's Midwest region executive vice president.
Obtaining those two properties would allow the developer to square off the building by adding another 25,000 square feet, while some 30 other houses north of Lee Lane would remain for now. Martell said he's reached out to those homeowners in hopes of developing another two phases of industrial buildings.
But many of the property owners came to the meeting Monday to oppose the industrial creep into their backyards, arguing the latest development would tear their neighborhood apart.
"Part of the American dream is to own a house, and every day it's becoming harder and harder. And for what? A warehouse?" said Carlos Maldonado, who lives on nearby Dierking Terrace. "It's not for a hospital or a school or even a church. Our community will be destroyed for this project."
The homeowners say much of the area is covered by a 1950s-era restrictive covenant recorded with Cook County that says the land must remain residential. Village Attorney George Knickerbocker said the document isn't applicable to the village's process.
Derke Price, an attorney for the developer, said the proposed industrial use fits with the village's commercial revitalization master plan for the area.
Other homeowners in the subdivision still holding out say initially they were given low offers when approached by the developer. On Monday, Martell admitted as much but says the company has come back with higher offers.
For those 21 properties that are under contract, the offers ranged from $239,500, for vacant land, to $750,000, according to land title documents.
"Yes, we'd like to have all of the homes and all of the businesses there, but it's a negotiation, and we can only go so far in terms of some of the prices," Martell said.
As for the building under consideration, Martell said his firm would plan to lease the space to two or three users, who would likely operate three shifts a day.
While the front of the building would face existing homes across Roppolo Avenue, the rear truck docks would face industrial buildings to the east that are incorporated in Elk Grove Village. A portion of Richard Lane, a private drive, would be removed to make room for the development.
If approved, construction could begin in spring 2020.
Sell: 'Our community will be destroyed,' resident says