If “all politics is local”, then the Naperville city council had a very good week. Two huge decisions were made during last Tuesday’s council meeting. First, an affordable housing plan was approved by a vote of 9 to 0, and second, a large development at the northeast corner of Route 59 and Aurora Avenue was approved by a vote of 6 to 3. Mayor Chirico said the Ogden Mall transformation was very successful, yet looks small in comparison to this project.
Chirico said it has taken years to get an affordable housing plan together that all interested parties could agree-upon. Councilman White added that this ordinance can make it more possible for those who work in Naperville to also live here, including police officers, firefighters, and teachers. That is an enormous win for Naperville.
Councilman Ian Holzhauer called it “an historic night for Naperville”. In addition he said “we’re envisioning an inclusive future where people who work in Naperville can afford to live in Naperville, where a setback in life doesn’t mean there’s no longer a place for you in the community”.
Chirico’s winning percentage of getting large developments approved is impressive. In addition to this win, was the Water Street Development Project which proved Watchdog wrong, The only large development project that couldn’t get approved (yet) was Fifth Avenue; the Mayor still has three month’s remaining to accomplish that goal. However, Chirico needs to leave something for the next Mayor to achieve.
Yes, the Water Street project has been successful, but I was expecting that since there were millions in tax incentives involved for the developer to push for full occupancy ASAP.
But a sword is still hanging over the city’s head in the TIF District created to make this project happen. I do not think TIF Districts are in the best interests of the community and should only be used in situations were there is no possibility the development will happen (which was not the case here) without a TIF district. As well as have a clear community amenity associated with it (library, community center, community theater, etc). I excluded green spaces and parks because city ordinance already requires all developments provide for these things.Fortunately we have not had any new projects come along requesting a TIF.
As to successful large projects the last one push through (which cost the city close to half a million in taxpayer dollars) is currently a giant mud pit, with no signs of any significant change in the near future. I am of course talking about the Kroehler “Mansion” site.