Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital has won approval from Winfield to expand its downtown footprint with a new parking deck, but the vote by the village board was not without controversy as two trustees suddenly announced they're resigning.
Trustees voted last week to allow CDH to build a mixed-use, 833-space parking structure west of the hospital along Winfield Road. The multistory building will feature more than 23,000 square feet on the ground floor for a day care facility plus space for retail or dining.
Though a pedestrian bridge connecting the parking deck to the hospital is part of the project, approval of a "public way license agreement" is pending. The agreement is needed in order for the structure to be built over Winfield Road.
CDH also can begin construction on a 180-space surface parking lot just east of Church Street, to be used initially by CDH staff members during construction.
But before the village board voted in favor of CDH's plan, trustees James McCurdy and Phillip Mustes announced they were resigning from the panel in protest.
McCurdy and Mustes, both Winfield trustees since 2013, eschewed protocol and offered their resignations in the first 30 minutes of the 3½-hour meeting on Sept. 3.
"We're starting to get back to 'The Jerry Springer Show' again," said McCurdy, likening the tabloid TV talk show to the infighting of the board. "I don't want our city to be named 'The Village of CDH.'"
McCurdy also cited personal medical issues as part of his decision. McCurdy was careful to praise CDH and its medical staff while being critical of Northwestern Medicine leadership.
In his protest resignation statement, Mustes suggested some of his fellow trustees were "working for the hospital and against the residents."
Village Attorney Kathie Elliott had to clarify that the voting could proceed. Because McCurdy and Mustes didn't file their resignations in writing and with notarized signatures, they were still technically on the board.
With McCurdy and Mustes gone, Village President Erik Spande cast the only negative votes on CDH's building plans and a "parking lot license agreement," which passed 4-1. But Spande did vote in favor of a resolution for an "economic development grant agreement" between the Central DuPage Hospital Association and the village.
While CDH can build its parking deck, Spande said he's unhappy that other planned projects won't start construction at the same time, including a mixed-used office building on land bordered by Winfield Road, High Lake Road, Church Street and Jewell Road.
Other trustees stressed the need for development to begin in downtown Winfield.
"I don't know that there are very many people that are walking around with the investment in Winfield that Northwestern Central DuPage has," Trustee Don Longacre said. "That's a two-way street. They're making an investment in us, we're making an investment in them."
Winfield residents are being sought for the two open trustee positions, which are appointed by the village president with the advice and consent of the board of trustees. For more information, visit villageofwinfield.com.