Most of Naperville’s open land has been developed, and moving forward, City Council must approach every proposed development thoughtfully in an attempt to find solutions that will benefit both the surrounding neighborhoods and the City as a whole.
5th Avenue Redevelopment
I have spent the past year representing my neighborhood on the 5th Avenue Steering Committee, and have worked tirelessly to ensure that the best interests of nearby neighborhoods are considered at every step of the planning process, including:
- I have collaborated with my neighbors, current City Council members and the potential developer to work towards solutions for pedestrian safety, stormwater management and other key issues that must be addressed as part of the redevelopment process.
- I also have requested an alternative concept that would be much less dense than the concepts that have been proposed so far, and which would more closely resemble the feedback that the City has received from residents.
- At this point, questions regarding commuter parking and the potential relocation of the DuPage Children’s Museum should be answered before the project moves forward, but once those questions have been answered, a less dense plan should be requested by City Council before narrowing the proposal to a single working concept.
Advocate for Residents on Other Major Development Proposals
I would apply the same approach I have taken on 5th Avenue to other large developments currently under consideration, including:
- Wagner Farms. A number of issues should be reviewed carefully prior to Council approval, including density, the impact on school enrollment, stormwater management and the lack of any true neighborhood park in the current proposal.
- Polo Club. The appropriate density for this development needs to be examined in greater detail, and Naperville needs to collaborate with Wheatland Township, Plainfield and IDOT in order to make significant improvements to 119th before a new large subdivision should be built.
- Future developments that will make our City more vibrant and diverse are a good thing, but they must also make sense for current residents whose neighborhoods will be permanently impacted by these developments. Too often, residents feel that they do not truly have a voice on City Council, and I look forward to providing that voice.
Variances Should be More Closely Examined
- For four years, I focused my legal career on representing private property owners whose land was being taken by governmental agencies through the government’s power of eminent domain, and that experience ingrained in me that government must always respect private property rights.
- Municipalities have an obligation, however, to follow their own codes and ordinances, and variances should only be granted where necessary and appropriate.
- When the City Council approves nearly every variance that is requested, the City’s codes lose meaning, and property owners who have complied with the codes face an unfair disadvantage. If elected, I would critically examine each variance request that comes before City Council to ensure that variance requests are truly necessary and do not harm the surrounding neighbors.
Vacancies on Ogden Avenue and Route 59
For too long, elected officials have not delivered on promises to revitalize Ogden Avenue and fill vacancies on Route 59 in a meaningful way.
- I believe that the first step to making significant progress on these important gateways into our city is that City Council needs to recognize it does not have all of the answers.
- A modest investment in an outside consultant who specializes in redeveloping corridors like Ogden Avenue and Route 59 would be prudent, and has the potential to pay for itself many times over if experienced professionals can bring all of the stakeholders together and begin to propose comprehensive and long-term solutions.
- Any study of Ogden Avenue and Route 59 must target the specific advantages and challenges of the respective corridors so that strategic plans can be developed.