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Public Raises Parking, Housing Concerns Over Proposed Development

Village will consider objections to Master Plan and facilitate discussions in December.

Library leaders will be meeting with village officals Dec. 3 to discuss parking changes proposed in the village's .

Citizens and officials told the plan commission during a public hearing held Monday that they coudn't support the adoption of the Master Plan because of its changes to . The initiative's designs illustrate the creation of a parking garage at the intersection of Green Bay Road and Central Avenue.

"We need to maintain parking for our 1,000 patrons a day, many of whom are elderly or children." Cindy Axley, president of the library board of trustees, said during the meeting, "It appears that our parking lot has been turned into a park, and I'm not sure what will happen to our alley."

In response, village officials said they would postpone adoption of the Master Plan until the library's concerns were addressed.

"They're a huge stakeholder on that block, and someone the village really wants to be happy with the ultimate concept that's adoped for that block," Wilmette's Director of Community Development John Adler told Patch.

With 51 spaces in its own lot and another 38 leased from the village, the library's parking capacity has been previously deemed deficient, according to a 2007 parking study by Rich & Associates & T.Y. Lin. that is cited in the Master Plan.

"The garage should be seen as an amenity to the library. It would increase capacity to 75 spaces," Scott Goldstein, a member of the plan commission, said. 

Goldstein also said that the future benefits of the propsoed park be ignored and that "parking assumptions" should be slightly shifted.

"We shoudn't make decisions that would detract from the elegance of the plan." he said, "The village green can become an amenity for biking and pedestrians."

Meanwhile, Axley looks forward to future discussions.

"I believe this collaboration provides an opportunity to think creatively while ensuring our patrons and staff continue to have optimal access the Library," she told Patch. 

Concerns regarding affordable housing language within the plan were also raised Monday evening. 

"Six years ago I moved from Mount Prospect, which was going through development." Reverend Kirk Reed of the  said, "No one remembered to consider the needs of moderate income families."

"Wilmette needs to continue policy that we already have," Reed said, highlighting the language used in the village's 2004 Affordable Housing Plan.

Adler said the commission will work together to include referential text in the master plan before it is adopted.

"We'll work with Lakota, our consulant, to see where best to mention housing, and to see how it's referred to." 

The plan commission is set to meet Dec. 21 to further discuss the Master Plan.

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