23 Feb Peoria neighborhood group seeks answers about proposed housing project
PEORIA — A Central Peoria neighborhood association has more questions than answers about a proposed housing development on War Memorial Drive that will be the subject of an informational meeting next week.
The Lake University Neighborhood Association organized the meeting in response to a proposal by the South Side Office of Concern for a 49-unit apartment complex at 1720 W. War Memorial Drive.
Speakers associated with the city and the developer have been invited to speak at the meeting, which is open to the public and scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1427 W. Lake Ave.
“There hasn’t been communication from South Side Office of Concern in regard to this project, so we want to know more,” said Jennifer Hutsell, the neighborhood association president. “I think we have questions, and we need a better understanding of what is happening and what this is going to look like.”
Kristen Berchtold, director of development for the South Side Office of Concern, said her group often works to find housing and services for people with disabilities, but the proposed project is not intended for those clients.
“This is strictly affordable housing,” Berchtold said, adding that the group will attend Monday to address concerns from residents. “We’re going to bring a whole team to answer questions anyone might have.”
Ross Black, the city’s community development director, said plans for the housing project have not yet been formally submitted for technical review, though the city is aware of the project because of its application for low income housing tax credits with the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
The state group listed the 49-unit Meadowbrook Place proposal from the South Side Office of Concern as approved for the tax credits as of Feb. 8, according to a rolling list of approvals posted online.
Black said he will speak on Monday about the city’s process for such a proposal, if it reaches later stages of development.
“The developer first has to make sure they have their financing in place, then they would come to the city with their site plan, and we put that through our typical technical review process for any type of development,” Black said.
Hutsell said a main concern her neighbors have voiced is whether the proposed housing development would be appropriate for the area when a similar proposal from the Peoria Public Housing Authority a few years ago was deemed incompatible.
“We have a diverse neighborhood, people of all income levels, and it works, it really works, so we just want to know more about the project and understand it,” Hutsell said. “We want the communication to increase, and overall we want to know if it’s a fit, if it’s a safe place for people to live there.”
Matt Buedel can be reached at 686-3154 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JournoBuedel.