Full Circle nears approval for affordable housing in Arlington Heights

Developer has to revise plan, despite gaining approval from a majority of trustees

Full Circle to Tweak Affordable Housing Plan in Arlington Heights
Full Circle Communities' Joshua Wilmoth and a rendering of the proposed affordable housing project in Arlington Heights (Full Circle Communities)

Nonprofit developer Full Circle Communities isn’t quite in the clear to embark on an affordable housing project, despite gaining approval from a majority of Arlington Heights officials.

The local developer wants to build a three-story, 25-unit permanent supportive housing development, for veterans and people with disabilities, at 1519 South Arlington Heights Road. Village trustees voted 6-3 in favor of the development, but state zoning laws require one more vote for final approval, the Daily Herald reported

Full Circle plans to tweak its proposal and return to the village board in hopes of securing the final vote. 

The village’s plan commission previously recommended against the project, necessitating a two-thirds majority from trustees. Mayor Tom Hayes, who’s in favor of the development, cannot cast a vote, per state law.

Jim Tinaglia and Jim Bertucci, two of the trustees who voted against the plan, expressed openness to approval pending adjustments to the building’s orientation. 

“I’m not so sure this hasn’t been vetted out properly,” Tinaglia told the outlet. “I want to approve this project, but it needs to be worked out further.”

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The other opposing trustee, Scott Shirley, insisted that Full Circle adhere to the maximum two-story limit allowed under the site’s current zoning, which the developer is seeking to change. 

Criticisms were raised about the proposed building’s rear entrance and parking lot, positioned near single-family homes. Neighbors argued that it’s an unsuitable location, despite efforts to create a landscape buffer.

Opponents also cited worries about privacy, light pollution and diminishing property values in the surrounding area. Supporters, however, highlighted the urgent need for housing for veterans and individuals with disabilities, emphasizing extensive waitlists at similar developments.

The proposed $13 million project, called Grace Terrace, calls for 20 one-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units. They would be reserved for tenants who earn 30 to 50 percent of the area median income and receive assistance through Housing Authority of Cook County vouchers. The project would be mostly financed by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

—Quinn Donoghue

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