Tonight, Mayor Bury will hold a community meeting for Anthem Memory Care’s proposed commercial development in a low-density residential zone. Meanwhile, neighbors have organized in opposition of the development.
Anthem’s proposal would put a memory care facility in the middle of a low-density residential zone. The proposed 2.2 acre site is currently open green space and a school bus depot. The proposed facility would be a two-story structure with 66 units, that could house 80 people with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and other memory related illnesses, and employ about 40 people.
On March 21st, the Village held a Planning & Development Committee meeting during which the memory care facility plans were discussed. This was the first public meeting on the proposed plans. Anthem Memory Care was petitioning for a Special Use Permit to allow the memory care facility in a Single-Family Planned Unit Development zoning district. Anthem was also petitioning to subdivide two lots on the Southwest Christian School property.
At that meeting, neighbors turned out en masse to voice their objection to the development. The overflow crowd was at times in contention with Village officials, such as Mayor Bury, who spoke up in support of the development. Many left the meeting feeling as though they’d been dismissed without a chance to adequately voice their objections.
On March 30th, Trustee Robert Streit (District 3) held a neighborhood meeting to allow neighbors of the Southwest Chicago Christian School to meet one another and discuss the proposed development on the school property. That meeting was attended by over 100 people, with many residents taking the microphone to make their voices heard.
At his meeting, Streit offered suggestions on how the neighbors could affect the change they desired, by starting a petition drive opposing the development and attending any future meetings on the development. That petition drive is currently underway, with neighbors signing in opposition to the proposed development.
Should the petitioners succeed in amassing enough signatures, it would require the Village Board of Trustees to have a “super-majority” of 4 Trustees vote in favor of the Special Use Permit. Normally, only 3 Trustees would need to vote in favor, at which point the Mayor could cast the tie-breaking vote.
“When you live near a park or a school, your expectation is that the property will always remain a park or a school,” Streit told the Leaf. “This doesn’t just affect the neighbors of Southwest Chicago Christian School. If a commercial development could be approved in this residential zone, then it could happen anywhere in the village.”
Currently, only Trustee Streit has stated his opposition to the proposed location. Trustee Terry Vorderer (District 4) attended the community meeting held by Streit, but did not offer his support to the neighbors. In fact, Vorderer expressed to those gathered that he would do what was best for the Village, not necessarily what was best for the neighbors. Mayor Bury has been outspoken in her support of the development at the Village Board meetings, on social media, and elsewhere.
Neighbors have also put together an informational website. The website, Keep 101st Commercial Free, offers the neighbors’ viewpoint on the proposed development. It also provides information on Anthem Memory Care, the proposed site, comparisons to other Anthem sites in other locations, and useful links to municipal code about the topic.
Tonight’s meeting will be held at Southwest Chicago Christian School at 7:30pm. The school’s address is 10110 S Central Ave. The meeting will be held in the school’s gymnasium.